Cigarette advertising before smoking is officially bad for your health


It's hard to believe that there was a time, not long ago, when people were led to believe that smoking was safe – it could even & # 39; for your lungs.

Advertisers in the 1930s used the keyword "doctor's recommendation!"

They even pay doctors to appear in advertisements to convince people that smoking is something doctors recommend.

How bad it is when doctors smoke too! Many doctors / actors are paid dearly; not with cash but with cardboard durries.

It doesn't matter that cigarettes make you cough.

No, it's not the fault of cigarettes, it's just dust in your house or bad luck floating around.

Some people see smoking as a little more than the phase most people go through, a ritual "growing up", a transitional rite that can connect you for life.

Only on January 11, 1964 was the public given a true story through a definitive report linking smoking with lung cancer.

US Surgeon General Luther Terry compiled a report of 150,000 words, with findings by ten scientists (five of whom were smokers themselves).

The message is blunt – stop smoking.

And, 54 years later, the world battle to educate smokers continues to burn slowly.


The 1964 Surgeon General Report, also known as the Terry Report, or its official name, & # 39; Smoking and Health: Advisory Committee Report to the Surgeon General & # 39; considered very devastating, a decision was made to be released on Saturday and not for a week, due to concerns that its findings could have an impact on the stock market.

At the time the report was released in the US, 42 percent of adult men were smokers.

Terry's report claims: "Compared to nonsmokers, the average male smoker has a risk of about 9 to 10 times more lung cancer and heavy smokers have at least a 20-fold risk."

The report states that smoking is responsible for a 70 percent increase in smokers' mortality rates compared to nonsmokers.

Smoking is officially called the most important cause of chronic bronchitis, also points to the relationship between smoking and emphysema, and smoking and coronary heart disease.

It is noted that smoking during pregnancy reduces the average weight of newborns.

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One problem remains questionable – namely nicotine addiction.

The report stressed that "tobacco habits should be characterized as habits rather than addictions," largely because the addictive nature of nicotine is not yet fully understood.

There are also differences of opinion about the definition of addiction.

But, one thing is certain, the impact of the report is damaging and results in health warnings being printed on cigarette packs.

However, it was not until September 1970 that all cigarette advertisements were banned.

Terry's report, along with other reports that followed, had a big impact, with the percentage of Americans who smoke decreased from 42 percent in 1964 to around 18 percent today.

A report claims this decline has prevented eight million deaths.

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In the early 1950s there was an increase in public anxiety about the health risks of smoking which caused advertising agencies to find new ways to reach their targets.

What better way to convince people that smoking is truly safe than using doctors in advertising campaigns!

Anyone who has ever seen Crazy people will be familiar with the trial episode when advertising executives must explain to tobacco company clients that they are not permitted to advertise that their products are safe.

Instead, they must find other ways to spruce their products to the public, without mentioning illness or death.

What really happened was this: in 1946, tobacco company RJ Reynolds launched an ad campaign for the Camel cigarette brand, using the slogan "More doctors smoke camels than other cigarettes."

RJ Reynolds claims to have conducted a survey of 113, 597 doctors who stated that Camel was the choice of most respondents.

But this survey was not at all independent – carried out by advertising agency RJ Reynolds whose staff interviewed doctors about their own smoking habits after being given free camel cartons.


In the early 1950s research has shown that smoking causes fatal illnesses and various illnesses, but cigarette companies reciprocate – naming this initial study & # 39; not convincing. & # 39;

Later, manufacturers made a new way to calm those who were anxious about smoking – that the use of filters meant that evil poisons never really reached smokers.

People actually buy the story but, when you are addicted, you will grab any straw to justify your habits.

Dr Anthony Komaroff, who was a young medical student when Terry's report was released, said the impact of the report was supported by his experience dissecting corpses.

"The lungs of non-smokers are pink. Heavy smoker's lungs are black. It doesn't look healthy, and the general surgeon confirms that it's not, "said Dr. Komaroff.

"I also remember the impression of the report on my mother, who had been smoking for years,

"He was not amazed by the science or evidence available. Instead, he was impressed by the fact that" top doctors "of America advised him, and other people like him, to stop smoking."

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In the UK, research has been carried out since 1949 when Bradford Hill, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and researcher Richard Doll of the Medical Research Council joined forces to study the background of lung cancer patients.

They found that of 649 lung cancer patients only two were nonsmokers.

When the doctors expanded their research to include 5,000 people, they found the same results. Doll, described by the British Medical Journal as "probably the most famous doctor in the UK", is said to have stopped smoking immediately.

In 1951, Doll and Hill contacted 59,600 doctors, investigated their own smoking habits and then published results that were considered very important so that, 50 years later, the British Medical Journal recently reprinted the first page of the report.

In 1956, the relationship was undeniable: Doll and Hill followed up on their work and found more than 200 heavy smokers had died within a four-year period.

This led to Royal College in the UK recommending higher taxes, restrictions on the sale of cigarettes for children, restrictions on advertising, smoking in public places and information about tar and nicotine content.

For the first time in a decade, cigarette sales fell.

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No doubt smoking can cause cancer and then prevent your body from fighting it. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poisons in cigarette smoke can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to kill cancer cells.

This means that cancer cells continue to grow without being stopped.

Toxins in tobacco smoke can damage or alter cell DNA and, when DNA is damaged, cells can begin to grow out of control and create tumors.

Smokers have a greater risk of lung cancer now than they did in 1964, even if they smoke less – that's because of changes in the way cigarettes are made and what chemicals are used today.

According to the World Health Organization there are 1.1 billion smokers, with the tobacco epidemic being one of the biggest public health threats, killing more than 7 million people per year.

More than 6 million deaths are caused by direct tobacco use, while around 890,000 are non-smokers exposed to cigarette smoke.

In 2004, children accounted for 28% of deaths caused by passive smoking. About 80 percent of smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is the heaviest.

Campaigns for Tobacco-Free Children, lead investigations in 22 countries and find cigarettes promoted close to schools in an effort to recruit young people to take the habit.

Some of the tactics used are placing cigarettes near sweets or soft drinks, or at the child's eye level.

But even today, millions of people don't get a message or are still struggling to stop.

– LJ Charleston is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Twitter @LJCharleston


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