Tobacco Timeline: The Twentieth Century 1900-1949--The Rise of the Cigarette

Author: Gene Borio

Tobacco Timeline--Chapter 6: The Twentieth Century--The Rise of the Cigarette

Tobacco Plant


Copyright 1993-2003 Gene Borio

Chapter 6

The Twentieth Century--The Rise of the Cigarette

1900-1950: Growing Pains

  • 1900: Brosch experiments with tobacco carcinogenisis on guinea pigs
  • 1900: REGULATION: Washington, Iowa, Tennessee and North Dakota have outlawed the sale of cigarettes.
  • 1900: CONSUMPTION: 4.4 billion cigarettes are sold this year. The anti-cigarette movement has destroyed many smaller companies. Buck Duke is selling 9 out of 10 cigarettes in the US.
  • 1900: SCOTUS: US Supreme Court uphold's Tennessee's ban on cigarette sales. One Justice, repeating a popular notion of the day, says, "there are many [cigarettes] whose tobacco has been mixed with opium or some other drug, and whose wrapper has been saturated in a solution of arsenic.".
  • 1900: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds reluctantly folds his company into Duke's Tobacco Trust
  • 1900: BUSINESS: There are appoximately 300,000 cigar brands on the market
  • 1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "[O]nly Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books, were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10).
  • 1901: ENGLAND: END OF AN AGE: QUEEN VICTORIA DIES. Edward VII, the tobacco-hating queen's son and successor, gathers friends together in a large drawing room at Buckingham Palace. He enters the room with a lit cigar in his hand and announces, "Gentlemen, you may smoke."
  • 1901: ENGLAND: BUSINESS: By royal warrant, Philip Morris & Co., Ltd., is appointed tobacconist for King Edward VII.
  • 1901: BUSINESS: Duke fuses his Continental Tobacco and American Tobacco companies into Consolidated Tobacco.
  • 1901: BUSINESS: UK: Duke's Consolidated buys the British Ogden tobacco firm, signalling a raid on the British industry.
  • 1901-12-10: BUSINESS: UK: Incorporation of The Imperial Tobacco Co. of Great Britain and Ireland Ltd; Imperial is born. 13 of the largest British tobacco companies, including W.D. & H.O. Wills, unite to combat Duke's take-over, and form the Bristol-based Imperial Tobacco Co.
  • 1901: CONSUMPTION: 3.5 billion cigarettes and 6 billion cigars are sold. Four in five American men smoke at least one cigar a day.

  • 1902: BUSINESS: In an end to the war, Imperial Tobacco (UK) and Buck Duke's American Tobacco Co. (USA) agree to stay in their own countries, and unite to form a joint venture, the British American Tobacco Company (BAT) to sell both companies' brands abroad.
  • 1902: Philip Morris sets up a corporation on Broad St. in New York to sell its British brands, including one named "Marlboro, " named after "Great Marlborough Street," site of Philip Morris' original factory in London. Ownership is split 50-50 between the British parent and American partners.
  • 1902: BUSINESS: ENGLAND: King Albert, long a fan of Philip Morris, Ltd., appoints the Bond St. boutique royal tobacconist.(RK)
  • 1902: USA: Sears, Roebuck and Co catalogue (page 441) sells "Sure Cure for the Tobacco Habit". Slogan "Tobacco to the Dogs". The product "will destroy the effects of nicotine". (LB)
  • 1902: Spring: Topsy, the ill-tempered Coney Island elephant, kills J. F. Blount, a keeper, who tried to feed a lighted cigarette to her. She picked him up with her trunk and dashed him to the ground, killing him instantly. On January 5, 1903, 1500 watch Topsy's electrocution in Coney Island.

  • 1903: BRAZIL: Souza Cruz founded.
  • 1903: LEGISLATION: Kansas Legislature enacts the "slobbering" bill, prohibiting spitting tobacco on floors, walls or carpets in churches, schools or public buildings.
  • 1903-08: The August Harpers Weekly says, "A great many thoughtful and intelligent men who smoke don't know if it does them good or harm. They notice bad effects when they smoke too much. They know that having once acquired the habit, it bothers them . . . to have their allowance of tobacco cut off."

  • 1904: BUSINESS: Connorton's Tobacco Directory lists 2,124 "cigarettes, cigarros and cheroots." (GTAT)
  • 1904: BUSINESS: Cigarette coupons first used as "come ons" for a new chain of tobacco stores.
  • 1904: BUSINESS: Duke forms the American Tobacco Co. by the merger of 2 subsidiaries, Consolidated and American & Continental. The only form of tobacco Duke does not control is cigars--the form with the most prestige.
  • 1904: American Lung Association is founded to fight tuberculosis.
  • 1904: MEDICINE: The first laboratory synthesis of nicotine is reported
  • 1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.
  • 1904: New York CIty. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says
  • 1904: Kentucky tobacco farmers form a violent "protective association" to protect themselves against rapacious tactics of large manufacturers, mostly the Duke combine. They destroy tobacco factories, crops, and even murder other planters. Disbanded in 1915.
  • 1905: POLITICS: Indiana legislature bribery attempt is exposed, leading to passage of total cigarette ban
  • 1905: U.S. warships head to Nicaragua on behalf of William Albers, a Amaerican accused of evading tobacco taxes
  • 1905: BUSINESS: ATC acquires R.A. Patterson's Lucky Strike company.
  • 1905: REGULATION: "Tobacco" does not appear in the US Pharmacopoeia, an official government listing of drugs. "The removal of tobacco from the Pharmacopoeia was the price that had to be paid to get the support of tobacco state legislators for the Food and Drug Act of 1906. The elimination of the word tobacco automatically removed the leaf from FDA supervision."--Smoking and Politics: Policymaking and the Federal Bureaucracy Fritschler, A. Lee. 1969, p. 37
  • 1906: BUSINESS: Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company is formed
  • 1906: BUSINESS: R.J. Reynolds introduces Prince Albert pipe tobacco
  • 1906-06-30: FEDERAL FOOD AND DRUGS ACT of 1906 prohibits sale of adulterated foods and drugs, and mandates honest statement of contents on labels. Food and Drug Administration begins. Originally, nicotine is on the list of drugs; after tobacco industry lobbying efforts, nicotine is removed from the list.

  • Definition of a drug includes medicines and preparations listed in U.S. Pharmacoepia or National Formulary.
    1914 interpretation advised that tobacco be included only when used to cure, mitigate, or prevent disease.
  • 1906: AGRICULTURE: KY: "Night Riders" formed. A group of angry farmers don hoods and ride horses out to terrorize other farmers who sold tobacco to the price-gouging American Tobacco Company. They burned barns and fields and even lynched people.
  • 1906-04: SMOKEFREE: IN: Richmond resident Orville Stanley is arrested and pleads guilty to possession and unlawful use of tobacco. Fines are suspended because he is a minor.

  • 1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do."
  • 1907: BUSINESS: American Tobacco purchases Butler & Butler, acquiring the Pall Mall brand.
  • 1907: REGULATION: WASHINGTON passes a law making it illegal to "manufacture, sell, exchange, barter, dispose of or give away any cigarettes, cigarette paper or cigarette wrappers."
  • 1907: REGULATION: Teddy Roosevelt's Justice Department files anti-trust charges against American Tobacco.
  • 1907: ADVERTISING: Bull Durham ad shocks New York. In 1907, the American Tobacco Company signed a contract with the operator of a horse-drawn stage line in New York to lease advertising space. One very controversial ad appeared for "Bull" Durham, the nation's leading tobacco brand. "Onlookers were shocked at the sight of the bull's well-endowed maleness so graphically rendered, and had the driver of the first stage that appeared on the street arrested." The City of New York sued the coach company and its client, the American Tobacco Company, to ban the ads. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1911, which upheld New York's ban. Ironically, this case ruling took place the day after the same court handed down a historic verdict ordering the dissolution of the Buck Duke's $240 million-a-year American Tobacco Company monopoly, which the court deemed in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. --Moyer, D. The Tobacco Reference Guide
  • 1907-01-26: REGULATION: THE TILLMAN ACT. Congress enacts law prohibiting campaign contributions by corporations to candidates for national posts. However, no restrictions were placed on the individuals who owned or managed the corporations. Enforcement was imposssible.
      "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today."--Theodore Roosevelt

  • 1908: CANADA: LEGISLATION: The Tobacco Restraint Act passed. Bans sales of cigarettes to those under 16; never enforced.
  • 1908: ENGLAND: LEGISLATION: 1908 Children Act prohibits the sales of tobacco to under 16s -- based on the belief that smoking stunts childrens growth. This act paralleled similar acts for alcohol--based on medical and moral issues-- and concern for the welfare of children in general.
  • 1908: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds releases Prince Albert pipe tobacco, "the Joy Smoke.", catapulting Reynolds to a national market. (RK)
  • 1908-01: SMOKEFREE: New York city passes Sullivan Act, forbidding women to smoke in public. Managers of public establishments must not permit females to smoke. An earlier ordinance which would have forbidden men to smoke in the presence of women failed to pass. One Katie Mulcahy is arrested for lighting up. Two weeks after enactment, Mayor George B. McClellan vetoes the ordinance.
  • 1908-01: NY: New York City bans smoking by women in public.
  • 1909: 15 states have passed legislation banning the sale of cigarettes.
  • 1909: "Princess Nicotine; or the Smoke Fairy" is the first instance of tobacco product placement (for Sweet Caporal cigarettes and cigars) in the movies. The special effects are so remakable they are noted in a contemporary issue of "Scientific American."
  • 1909: SPORTS: Baseball great Honus Wagner orders American Tobacco Company take his picture off their "Sweet Caporal" cigarette packs, fearing they would lead children to smoke. The shortage makes the Honus Wagner card the most valuable of all time, worth close to $500,000.

  • 1910: CONSUMPTION: US has a per capita smoking rate of 80 cigarettes (The Tax Burden on Tobacco, Historical Compilation Volume 35, 2000)
  • 1910: CONSUMPTION: Per capita adult cigarette consumption: 138 peryear. Per capita cigar consumption: 77/year. (International Smoking Statistice) Because of the heavy use of the inexpensive cigarette by immigrants, New York still accounts for 25% of all cigarette sales. A New York Times editorial praises the Non Smokers Protective League, saying anything that could be done to allay "the general and indiscriminate use of tobacco in public places, hotels, restaurants, and railroad cars, will receive the approval of everybody whose approval is worth having." (RK)
  • 1910: CONSUMPTION: US has a per capita smoking rate of 151 cigarettes (Economic Research Service, USDA, April 28, 2006.)
  • 1910: TAXES: Federal tax revenues from tobacco products are $58 million, 13% from cigarettes.
  • 1910: BUSINESS: The famous T206 series of tobacco baseball cards is issued by the makers of 16 different cigarette brands. The original set consists of 389 cards.
  • 1910: BUSINESS: FRANCE: 'Gauloises' cigarettes are introduced.

    • Duke's American Tobacco Co. controls 92% of the world's tobacco business.
    • Leading National Brand: Fatima, (first popular brand to be sold in 20-unit packs; 15 cents) from Liggett & Myers, a Turkish/domestic blend. Most popular in Eastern urban areas. Other Turkish/domesitc competitors: Omar (ATC); Zubelda (Lorillard); Even the straight domestic brands were seasoned with a sprinkling of Turkish, like Sweet Caporals (originally made for F.S. Kinney and later for American Tobacco)
    • Leading Brand in Southeast: Piedmont, an all-Bright leaf brand.
    • Leading Brand in New Orleans: Home Run, (5 cents for 20) an all-Burley leaf brand.

  • 1911: Tobacco -growing is allowed in England for the first time in more than 250 years.
  • 1911: American Tobacco Co. establishes a Research Department.
  • 1911-08-03: PUBLISHING: LIFE MAGAZINE's cover features a diapered baby girl smoking one of her mother's cigarettes. The caption: "My Lady Nicotine."
  • 1911-05-29: SCOTUS: "Trustbusters" break up American Tobacco Co. US Supreme Court dissolves Duke's trust as a monopoly and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890). The major companies to emerge are: American Tobacco Co., R.J. Reynolds, Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company (Durham, NC), Lorillard and British-American Tobacco (BAT). RJ Reynolds says, "Now watch me give Buck Duke hell." BAT is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
    • Liggett & Myers was given about 28 per cent of the cigarette market:
      • Piedmont
      • Fatima
      • American Beauty
      • Home Run
      • Imperiales
      • Coupon
      • King Bee
      • Fatima (the only 15 Turkish blend
      • and the cheap straight domestic brands.

    • P. Lorillard received 15 per cent of the nation's business:
      • Helmar
      • Egyptian Deities
      • Turkish Trophies
      • Murad
      • Mogul
      • and all straight Turkish brands

    • American Tobacco retained 37 per cent of the market:
      • Pall Mall, its expensive all-Turkish brand, named for a fashionable London street in the 18th century where "pall-mall" (a precursor to croquet) was played.
      • Sweet Caporal
      • Hassan
      • Mecca

    • R. J. Reynolds received no cigarette line but was awarded 20 per cent of the plug trade.

  • 1911: Dr. Charles Pease states position of the NonSmokers' Protective League of America:
  • 1911-03-25: FIRES: NY: Triangle ShirtWaist Factory Fire. Many believe a carelessly discarded match or cigarette starts a fire on the 9th floor that kills 146 garment workers, mostly young immigrant women.. It was the worst workplace disaster in NYC history until 9/11.

  • 1912: BUSINESS: Newly freed Liggett & Myers introduces "Chesterfield" brand cigarettes, with the slogan: They do satisfy
  • 1912: BUSINESS: R.J. Reynolds, fearful of Wall St. raiders, introduces an employee stock plan/profit-sharing plan that eventually enriches many.
  • 1912: BUSINESS: Book matches are finally perfected by Diamond Co., making the appeal of cigarettes - in portability and ease of use - even greater.
  • 1912: BUSINESS: The IMPERIAL TOBACCO COMPANY OF CANADA is incorporated with the assistance of British-American Tobacco (which had been created by the joining of Imperial Tobacco and American Tobacco) to produce and market tobacco products across Canada
  • 1912: BUSINESS: George Whelan puts his United Cigar Stores company under a holding company, Tobacco Products Corporation, and starts buying small tobacco independents.
  • 1912: USA: Reprint of report of the perfection of a nicotine oil spray. This makes it easier to apply the nicotine extract as an insecticde to plants. (LB)
  • 1912: USA: The members of the Non-Smokers' Protective League received editorial ridicule in various newspapers. One newspaper states, "Smoking may be offensive to some people, but ecourages peace and morality". Pipes and cigars are easily defended, but cigarettes may be a problem. (LB)
  • 1912: HEALTH: First strong link made between lung cancer and smoking. In a monograph, Dr. Isaac Adler is the first to strongly suggest that lung cancer is related to smoking.
  • 1912: USA: Article on substitutes for tobacco, such as ground coffee, coffee bean, hemp, leaves of the tomato or potato or holly or camphor, or "the egg plant, and the colt's foot". (LB)
  • 1912: USA: Article titled "How some men stop smoking"; in which they never stop for more than a few hours. The question is raised, "How can we break ourselves of it? -- not the tobacco, but the thought that we ought to stop it?" (LB)
  • 1912: MEDICINE: The first lobectomy--removal of a lobe of the lung--for lung cancer is accomplished in London by surgeon Hugh Morriston Davies. The patient dies 8 days later because the lung cavity is not drained, a procedure not followed in such cases until 1929.
  • 1912: SINKING OF THE TITANIC Men in tuxedos are observed smoking cigarettes as they await their fate. (RK)
  • 1912: REGULATION: TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT. It is under this act that present-day Cuban cigar smugglers would be prosecuted. It carries a maximum penalty of $250,000 and 10 years in jail.
  • 1912: BUSINESS: ENGLAND: Walter Molins and his son, Desmond form MOLINS MACHINE CO. LTD., specializing in the making of cigarette machinery.

  • 1913: AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE CONTROL OF CANCER is formed to inform the public about the disease. It will later become the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.(RK)
  • 1913-10-21: BUSINESS: Birth of the "modern" cigarette: RJ REYNOLDS introduces CAMEL, the first pre-blended, packaged cigarette. The blend, mostly of burley tobacco that was "cased," or flavored, becomes known as "American blend," and helps Camel become the first nationally popular cigarette. Camels come in the country's first 20-cigarette pack.
  • 1913-14: ADVERTISING: PRINCE ALBERT tobacco uses CHIEF JOSEPH of the Nez Perce Indians in its ads.
  • 1914: HEALTH: Lung cancer death rate is 0.6 per 100,000 (US Census Bureau); 371 cases are reported in the US. (RK).
  • 1914: SMOKEFREE: Smoking is banned in the US Senate chamber because a senator recovering from a stroke complained of irritated lungs; chewing is still allowed. Smoking was banned on the House floor in 1871.
  • 1914: BUSINESS: Peak of the cigar industry: there are 24,000 cigar factories in the US, including hundreds in Brooklyn, NY.
  • 1914: BUSINESS: BRAZIL: BAT acquires Souza Cruz.
  • 1914: OPINION: Thomas Edison writes to Henry Ford on the health danger of cigarettes: "The injurious agent in cigarettes comes principally from the burning paper wrapper. The substance thereby formed is called acrolein. It has a violent action on the nerve centers, producing degeneration of the cells of the brain, which is quite rapid among boys. Unlike most narcotics, this degeneration is permanent and uncontrollable. I employ no person who smokes cigarettes."
  • 1914: BOOKS: "The Social History of Smoking", by G. L. Apperson (London)

  • 1915: BUSINESS: Liggett & Myers reconstitutes Chesterfield in the Camel mode; shortens slogan to: They Satisfy
  • 1915: BUSINESS: Thorne Bros. sell majority stake in Montgomery Ward to tobacco interests.
  • 1915: BUSINESS: CHINA: Brightleaf tobacco seeds and growing methods are first transported to China ["The Tobacco Project"]
  • 1915: POETRY:
    Tobacco is a dirty weed. I like it.
    It satisfies no normal need. I like it.
    It makes you thin, it makes you lean,
    It takes the hair right off your bean.
    It's the worst darn stuff I've ever seen.
    I like it.

    --Graham Lee Hemminger, Penn State Froth, Tobacco
  • c. 1915: OPINION: Release of poster with quote from biologist Davis Starr Jordan, "The boy who smokes cigarettes need not be anxious about his future, he has none" (LB)

  • 1916: Henry Ford publishes anti-cigarette pamphlet titled "The Case against the Little White Slaver". (LB)
  • 1916: BUSINESS: To compete with the phenomenal success of RJR's Camel, American introduces Lucky Strike, the name revived from an 1871 pipe tobacco brand that referenced the Gold Rush days. On the package, the motto: "It's Toasted!" (like all other cigarettes.) .
  • 1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.
  • 1917: BUSINESS: There are now 3 standard brands of cigarettes on the US market: Lucky Strike, Camel and Chesterfield. R.J. Reynolds suspects American Tobacco of disseminating rumors of salt petre in tobacco, and factory workers with leprosy and syphilis. Claims that agents would enter streetcars, one from the front and one from the rear, and hold a loud conversation about these...and then exit to repeat again and again. R.J. Reynolds posts $500 reward notices. (Pollay)
  • 1917: BUSINESS: "All Automated Short Filler Cigar Machine" is patented.
  • 1917: BUSINESS: Ivar Kreuer founds Swedish Match, based on the safety match..
  • 1917-18: US JOINS WORLD WAR I Cigarette rations determined by market share, a great boost to Camel, which had over a third of the domestic market.
    • Virtually an entire generation return from the war addicted to cigarettes.
    • Turkish leaf is unavailable; American tobacco farmers get up to 70 cents/pound.
    • Those opposed to sending cigarettes to the doughboys are accused of being traitors. According to General John J. Pershing:
      • You ask me what we need to win this war. I answer tobacco as much as bullets.
      • Tobacco is as indispensable as the daily ration; we must have thousands of tons without delay.

    • 1918: War Department buys the entire output of Bull Durham tobacco. Bull Durham advertises, "When our boys light up, the Huns will light out."

  • 1918: Frederick J. Pack publishes "Tobaco and Human Efficiency," the most comprehensive compilation of anti-cigarette opinion to date. (RK)
  • 1918: BUSINESS: CHINA: American-Chinese Tobacco Co. (meiguo-zhongguo yancao gongsi) formed for the "sole purpose of buying tobacco in the US and selling it to China" ["The Tobacco Project"]
  • 1919: HEALTH: Washington University medical student Alton Ochsner is summoned to observe lung cancer surgery--something, he is told, he may never see again. He doesn't see another case for 17 years. Then he sees 8 in six months--all smokers who had picked up the habit in WW I.
  • 1919: Vice President Thomas Marshall says, "What this country really needs is a good 5-cent cigar."
  • 1918-07-29: PEOPLE: Richard Joshua (R.J.) Reynolds, 68, dies of pancreatic cancer in Winston-Salem, NC.

  • 1919: The 18th Admendment ratified by states. (LB)
  • 1919: Evangelist Billy Sunday declares "Prohibition is won; now for tobacco". The success of alcohol prohibition suggusted to some the possibility of tobacco prohibition (LB)
  • 1919: Lucy Payne Gaston's tactics are attracting lawsuits; she is asked to resign from Anti-Cigarettel League of the World.
  • 1919: BUSINESS: The Philip Morris coronet logo is introduced.
  • 1919: BUSINESS: George Whelan Tobacco Products picks up tiny US Philip Morris Company, including PM's brands Cambridge, Oxford Blues, English Ovals, Players, and Marlboro. The new Philip Morris & Company, Ltd. Inc, is incorporated in Richmond, VA.
  • 1919: BUSINESS: Manufactured cigarettes surpass smoking tobacco in poundage of tobacco consumed. (RK)
  • 1919: BUSINESS: ADVERTINSING: Lorillard unsuccessfully targets women with its Helmar and Murad brands. (RK)

  • 1920: CONSUMPTION: US has a per capita smoking rate of 477 cigarettes (The Tax Burden on Tobacco, Historical Compilation Volume 35, 2000)
  • 1920: CONSUMPTION: Per capita cigarette consumption: 419/year. Per capita cigar consumption: 80/year. (International Smoking Statistics)
  • 1920: ATC's Richmond Research Laboratory conducts a "continuing study of the components of tobacco and tobacco smoke."
  • 1920-06-11: Republican party leaders, meeting in the "smoke-filled room" (Suite 408-10 of Chicago's Blackstone Hotel) engineered the presidential nomination of Warren G. Harding.
  • 1920-10: OPINION: "" in Atlantic Monthly says, "scientific truth" has found "that the claims of those who inveigh aginst tobacco are wholy without foundation has been proved time and again by famous chemists, physicians, toxicologists, physiologists, and experts of every nation and clime." (RK)
  • 1920-06: The phrase "smoke-filled room" --meaning politiking and deal-making hidden from public view-- is engendered, after senators and others in Suite 404 in the Chicago's Blackstone Hotel decide that Warren G. Harding should be the Republican nominee for president.

  • 1921: BUSINESS: RJR spends $8 million in advertising, mostly on Camel; inaugurates the "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel" slogan. (RK)
  • 1921: BUSINESS: KOREA: Korea Tobacco and Ginseng (KTG)'s monopoly is expanded to include tobacco.
  • 1921-04-11: TAXES: State tobacco taxation begins. Iowa is the first state to add its own cigarette tax (2 cents a pack) onto the federal excise levy (6 cents).(RK)
  • 1922: REGULATION: 15 states have banned the sale, manufacture, possession, advertising and/or use of cigarettes.
  • 1922: BUSINESS: RJR takes Industry leadership. from American for first time.(RK)
  • 1922: BUSINESS: Manufactured cigarettes surpass plug in poundage of tobacco consumed to become US's highest grossing tobacco product. (RK)
  • 1922: PEOPLE: Lucy Payne Gaston runs for President of the U.S. against "cigarette face" Warren G. Harding, whom she asks to quit smoking. Within two years they both will be dead, he of a stroke mid-term, she of throat cancer. (There is no record of her ever having smoked.)
  • 1923: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: Camel has 45% of the US market.
  • 1923: NEW JERSEY: A Secaucus teacher's attempt to get her job back after being fired for cigarette smoking reaches the state Supreme Court, but fails
  • 1923: LITERATURE: "Confessions of Zeno" by Italo Svevo
  • 1923: MARKET SHARE: Camel has over 40% of the US market.
  • 1924: Lucy Payne Gaston dies of throat cancer.
  • 1924: CONSUMPTION: 73 billion cigarettes sold in US
  • 1924: Reader's Digest publishes "Does Tobacco Injure the Human Body," the beginning of a RD campaign to make people think before starting to smoke.
  • 1924: BUSINESS: Philip Morris introduces Marlboro, a women's cigarette that is "Mild as May"
  • 1924: BUSINESS: Durham, NC: James B. Duke creates Duke University.
  • Duke gives an endowment to Trinity College. Under provisions of the fund, Trinity becomes Duke University

  • 1925: James Buchanan Duke dies.
  • 1925: HEALTH: Lung cancer death rate is 1.7 per 100,000 (US Census Bureau)(RK).
  • 1925: BUSINESS: Philip Morris' Marlboro, "Mild as May," targets "decent, respectable" women. "Has smoking any more to do with a woman's morals than has the color of her hair?" A 1927 ad reads, "Women quickly develop discerning taste. That is why Marlboros now ride in so many limousines, attend so many bridge parties, and repose in so many handbags."
  • 1925: BUSINESS: Helen Hayes, Al Jolson and Amelia Earhart endorse Luckies
  • 1925: BUSINESS: Both Percival Hill and Buck Duke die by end of the year; Duke was 69. George Washington Hill becomes President of American Tobacco Co. Becomes known for creating the slogans, "Reach for a Lucky" and "With men who know tobacco best, it's Luckies two to one"
  • 1925: SOCIETY: Women's college Bryn Mawr lifts its ban on smoking.
  • 1925: OPINION: "American Mercury" magazine: "A dispassionate review of the [scientific] findings compels the conclusion that the cigarette is tobacco in its mildest form, and that tobacco, used moderately by people in normal health, does not appreciably impair either the mental efficiency or the physical condition." (RK)
  • 1926: BUSINESS: ADVERTISING: P. Lorillard introduces Old Gold cigarettes with expensive campaigns. John Held Flappers, Petty girls, comic-strip style illustrations and "Not a Cough in a Carload" helped the brand capture 7% of the market by 1930.
  • 1926: BUSINESS: ADVERTISING: Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield targets women for second-hand smoke in "Blow some my way" ad. There is a public outcry.
  • 1926: BUSINESS: First Menthol cigarettes debut. Lloyd (Spud) Hughes' menthol Spud Brand and recipe are sold to Axton-Fisher Tobacco Co., which markets it nationally.
  • 1926: BUSINESS: FRANCE: French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré created an organization responsible for reimbursing public debt, including a service to manage the tobacco monopoly called the Service d'Exploitation Industrielle des Tabacs (SEIT).

  • 1927: LEGISLATION: Kansas is the last state to drop its ban on cigarette sales.
  • 1927: Eduard Haas, Austrian candy executive invents Pez, rectangular candies sold in tins as an aid for those who wanted to stop smoking and came only in peppermint; the name was derived from the German word for peppermint, Pfefferminz. In 1952, Haas marketed it in the US as a stop-smoking device, but this failed--some say because the dispenser looked like a cigarette lighter. He remarketed it as a candy for children, and the rest is history.
  • 1927: BUSINESS: FRANCE: 'Gitane' cigarettes are introduced.

  • 1927: BUSINESS: John Hill founds the agency that would eventually become Hill and Knowlton in Cleveland, Ohio. Instead of working on his own, as was the practice in those days, Hill hired other agents and trained them to work in his "style" - thus becoming, in effect, the founder of the modern-day PR Consultancy.
  • 1927: BUSINESS: British American Tobacco (BATCo) crosses the Atlantic to acquire USA's Brown & Williamson. B&W introduces the 15-cent-pack Raleigh. Raleigh soon reintroduces the concept of coupons for merchandise.
  • 1927: ADVERTISING: 1927 Philip Morris, RJR and ATC target women in Marlboro, Camel and Lucky Strike advertisements.
  • A sensation is created when George Washington Hill aims Lucky Strike advertising campaign at women for the first time, using testimonials from female movie stars and singers. Soon Lucky Strike has 38% of the American market. Smoking initiation rates among adolescent females triple between 1925-1935.
  • 1927: ADVERTISING: Lorillard: "Old Gold cigarettes ... not a cough in a carload"
  • 1927-09: Long Island Railroad grants full rights to women in smoking cars.

  • 1928: HEALTH: Lombard & Doering examine 217 Mass. cancer victims, comparing age, gender, economic status, diet, smoking and drinking. Their New England Journal of Medicine report finds overall cancer rates only slightly less for nonsmokers, but finds 34 of 35 site-specific (lung, lips, cheek, jaw) cancer sufferers are heavy smokers.(RK).
  • 1928: HEALTH: German scientist proposes that lung cancers among non-smoking women could be caused by inhalation of their husbands' smoke. Schnönherr E. Beitrag zur Statistik und Klinik der Lungentumoren. Z Krebsforsch 1928;27: 436-50.
  • 1928: The Journal of the American Medical Association criticizes claims that smoking is healthful. From the 1930s to 1950s it accepts advertising that make such claims. (4. Lawlor DA, Smoking and Ill Health: Does Lay Epidemiology Explain the Failure of Smoking Cessation Programs Among Deprived Populations? Am J Public Health. 2003;93:266-270.)
  • 1928-30: SAUDI ARABIA: Ikhwan (Brethren) Rebellion. Wahhabi (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab (1703-87), founded the sect) leader Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud succeeded in uniting many tribes and capturing Saudi cities. He declared himself King in the 1920s. The fierce, ultra-religious wahhabi police (mutawa) would invade peoples' homes and beat the occupants if they smelled tobacco. The Wahhabis' revolt, it is said, was partially aggravated by tobacco issues. As part of a compromise that ended the uprising, King Abdel Aziz agreed to ban tobacco imports (but never did).
  • 1928: BUSINESS: ADVERTISING: American Tobacco unleashes an ad campaign for Lucky Strike aimed at women: "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet." Candy makers object, and the campaign later targets "over-indulgence" instead.

  • 1929: HEALTH: Fritz Lickint of Dresden publishes the first formal statistical evidence of a lung cancer-tobacco link, based on a case series showing that lung cancer sufferers were likely to be smokers. Lickint also argued that tobacco use was the best way to explain the fact that lung cancer struck men four or five times more often than women (since women smoked much less). (Proctor)
  • 1929: HEALTH: Statistician Frederick Hoffman in the "American Review of Tuberculosis" finds "There is no definite evidence that smoking habits are a direct contributory cause toward malignant growths in the lungs."(RK).
  • 1928-04-01: ADVERTISING: ATC: Edward Bernays mounts a "freedom march" of smoking debutantes/fashion models who walk down Fifth Avenue during the Easter parade dressed as Statues of Liberty and holding aloft their Lucky Strike cigarettes as "torches of freedom."
  • See:
  • 1929: ADVERTISING: ATC: "Avoid that future shadow by refraining from overindulgence, if you would maintain the modern figure of fashion. We do not represent that smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes will bring modern figures or cause the reduction of flesh. We do declare that when tempted to do yourself too well, if you will 'Reach for a Lucky' instead, you will avoid overindulgence in things that cause excess weight and, by avoiding overindulgence, maintain a modern, graceful form," warns one ad which compared ladies' jowls.
  • 1929: ADVERTISING: ATC: "Many prominent athletes smoke Luckies all day long with no harmful effects to wind or physician condition"
  • 1929: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys a factory in Richmond, Virginia, and finally begins manufacturing its own cigarettes.
  • 1929: BUSINESS: Whelan's Tobacco Products Corporation crashes shortly before the market; Philip Morris is picked up by Rube Ellis, who calls in Leonard McKitterick to help run it. (RK).
  • 1929: Fires: National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)), prompted by a fatal fire in Lowell, MA, conducts research on cigarette-caused fires on the behalf of Congress.
  • 1929-04: BUSINESS: The Reynolds Building opens in Winston-Salem, NC -- the first skyscraper south of Baltimore. Designed by Shreve & Lamb, who designed the Empire State Building, is named "Building of the Year" in 1929 by the National Association of Architects.

  • 1930: MARKET SHARE:





      Lucky Strike Regulars

      43.2 billion





      Chesterfield Regulars

      26.4 billion


      Old Gold Regulars

      8.5 billion


      Raleigh 85s

      0.2 billion

  • 1930: CONSUMPTION: US has a per capita smoking rate of 977 cigarettes, twice the 1930 rate. (The Tax Burden on Tobacco, Historical Compilation Volume 35, 2000)
  • 1930: HEALTH: 2,357 cases of lung cancer reported in the US. (RK) The lung cancer death rate in white males is 3.8 per 100,000.
  • 1930: SCIENCE: Researchers in Cologne, Germany, made a statistical correlation between cancer and smoking.
  • 1930: TAXES: Federal tax revenues from tobacco products are over $500 million, 80% from cigarettes.
  • 1930: ADVERTISING: JAMA decries health claims made by cigarette ads
  • 1930: BUSINESS: The successors of the Tobacco Trust, led by RJ Reynolds, hike cigarette prices (at the beginning of the Depression), leaving a perfect opening for Philip Morris, Brown & Williamson, and other small manufacturers to counter with low-priced brands..
  • Early 1930s: Bonnie & Clyde & RJR. "No doubt the most notorious devotee to Camels was Bonnie Parker who, with Clyde Barow, toured what was evidently the Reynolds factory in the early 1930s."--The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co., Tilley, 1985
  • 1930s: Cigar prices fall so low most hand-rolling cigar businesses fail.
  • 1930s: BRITAIN has highest rates of lung cancer in the world
  • 1930s: ADVERTISING: A Philip Morris ad states: "You're bound to inhale sometimes, but you can have this proven protection."
  • 1930-1931: BUSINESS: Benson & Hedges introduces Parliament, which came in a hard box. It featured a mouthpiece, and the first commercial filter tip: a wad of cotton, soaked in caustic soda. Both were meant mostly to keep bits of tobacco out of the smoker's mouth.
  • 1931-06: BUSINESS: Cigarette Price Wars begin. Cigarettes sold for 14 cents a pack, 2-for-27 cents in the depths of the depression. Even with cheap leaf prices and manufacturing costs, and with "Luckies" advancing, RJReynolds President S. Clay Williams ups "Camel" prices a penny a pack. Others follow suit. The major TCs are seen as greedy opportunists. Dime-a-pack discount cigarettes eat into the majors' market share, taking as much as 20% of the market in 1932; PM releases "Paul Jones" discount brand. In 1933, TCs lower prices. Discounts maintain 11% of the market for the rest of the 30s (RK)
  • 1931: Safco is established by A.G. Busch, Safco is credited with engineering the cigarette lighter plug for Ford's first automobiles.

  • 1932: BUSINESS: George G. Blaisdell imports a tough Austrian lighter, names it "Zippo," after the hot word for another recent invention, the "zipper." Founds "Zippo Manufacturing."

  • 1933: BUSINESS: Blaisdell begins manufacturing Zippos in Jan. or Feb., having improved on the Austrian design.
  • 1933: LEGISLATION: Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 imposes acreage restrictions on tobacco production and provides for government loans to tobacco farmers. The AAA institutes price supports, basically saving tobacco farmers from ruin.
  • 1933: BUSINESS: B&W introduces Kool, a menthol cigarette to compete with Axton-Fisher's Spud, the only other mentholated brand. [B&W currently touts Kool as the first national menthol brand.]
  • 1933: BUSINESS: Leonard B. McKitterick becomes president of Philip Morris.
  • 1933: BUSINESS: Philip Morris resuscitates and revitalizes its Philip Morris as a tony, but only premium-priced ("Now only 15 cents") "English Blend" brand.
  • 1933: BUSINESS: RJR begins to sell Camel in a one-piece 10-pack carton, the first time such packaging is used.
  • 1933: BUSINESS: Hill & Knowlton is officially born when John Hill is joined by Don Knowlton.
  • 1933-11-25: ADVERTISING: The Journal of the American Medical Association, "after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were used by physicians in practice," publishes its first advertisement for cigarettes (Chesterfield), a practice that continued for 20 years. (ASG)
  • 1933: ADVERTISING: Chesterfield begins running ads in the New York State Journal of Medicine, with claims like, "Just as pure as the water you drink . . . and practically untouched by human hands."
  • 1933-04-17: ADVERTISING: Bellboy JOHNNY ROVENTINI first goes on the air on the Ferde Grofe Show, his distinctive voice making the famous, "Call for Philip Morris." After being discovered by ad exec Milton Biow, he soon became the world's first living trademark. Against the background music of the "On the Trail Movement'' from Grof's Grand Canyon Suite, Johnny Roventini yelled it out, in perfect B-flat pitch, to match the music. [Here's the Johnny Roventini Fan Page]

  • 1934: LEGISLATION: GARRISON ACT is passed outlawing marijuana and other drugs; tobacco is not considered.
  • 1934: ELEANOR ROOSEVELT is called the "first lady to smoke in public." (ASG)
  • 1934: BUSINESS: An A&P ad lists cigarette prices for Lucky Strikes, Chesterfields, Old Golds and Camels: two packs for 25 cents / a carton of ten for $1.20.
  • 1934: ADVERTISING: RJR: Camel: "Smoke as many as you want. They never get on your nerves"

  • 1935: ADVERTISING: Lorillard: "Ask your dentist why Old Golds are better for the teeth."
  • 1935-09: MEDIA: FORTUNE magazine reports on "Alcohol and Tobacco" (two of its chief advertisers), concluding (page 98), "the sum total of our knowledge of the 'evil' of smoking does not add up to much more than a zero."

  • 1936: American Journal of Obstetrics and Bynecology publishes an article raising concerns about the effect of smoking on unborn children
  • 1936: GERMANY: Fritz Lickint first uses the term "Passivrauchen" (passive smoking) in Tabakgenuss und Gesunheit.
  • 1936: BUSINESS: B&W introduces Viceroy, the first serious brand to feature a filter of cellulose acetate. (RK)
  • 1936: BUSINESS Viceroy t intorduces a cellulose filter that it claimed removed half the particles in smoke.
  • 1936: BUSINESS: RJR discontinues RED KAMEL brand
  • 1936: BUSINESS: Otway Hebron Chalkley becomes president of Philip Morris.
  • 1936: BUSINESS: FRANCE: Gauloises' cigarettes are rejuvenated. The brand's famous logo, a winged helmet, is redesigned by Jacno.
  • 1936: ADVERTISING: Lucky Strike launches "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet" ad campaign
  • 1936: GERMANY: German cigarette manufacturer CIGARETTEN BILDENDIENST offers coupons in cigarette packs which are redeemable for a coffee-table book on Hitler. More coupons bought "home album" pictures suitable for pasting into designated spots. Goebbels oversaw production of the book. (Fahs, Cigarette Confidential)

  • 1937: Federal Government establishes the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda, MD (RK)
  • 1937: BUSINESS: 'Printers Ink' reports that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and Ligett & Myers Tobacco Co. each spent at least two million dollars on advertising in the first half of 1937. (LB)
  • 1937: BUSINESS: By the end of the year, Camels are outselling Luckies and Chesterfield by about 40%. (RK)

  • 1938: LEGISLATION: Federal FOOD, DRUG AND COSMETICS ACT supercedes 1906 Act. Definition of a "drug" includes "articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals" and "articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals"
  • 1938: LEGISLATION: AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT is passed again, this time authorizing marketing quotas. The Tobacco Price Support Program: Tobacco not purchased by manufacturers at auction is pooled and purchased by the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative for storage and future sale
  • 1938: SCIENCE: Dr. Raymond Pearl of Johns Hopkins University reports to New York Academy of Medicine that smokers do not live as long as non-smokers. His findings are printed in the Science News Letter (March 12 (or 4) 1938 p. 163) under the title "Tobacco Smoking and Longevity.""Smoking is associated with a definite impairment of longevity. . . This impairment is proportional to the habitual amount of tobacco usage by smoking, being great for heavy smokers and less for moderate smokers." Of the (6,813 persons reported on, two-thirds of the nonsmokers had lived beyond sixty, but only 46 per cent of the heavy smokers reached age sixty. Time magazine suggested that Pearl's results would frighten tobacco manufacturers to death and "make tobacco users' flesh creep."
  • 1938: RADIO: Artie Shaw's band airs twice weekly. Old Gold cigarettes, the show's sponsor, bans Billie Holiday, and demands that only the band's white singer, Helen Forrest, be allowed to perform.
  • 1938: MEDIA: Consumer Reports rates 36 cigarette brands.
    • CR notes that Philip Morris lays "great stress in their advertising upon their substitution of glycol for glycerine. The aura of science surrounding their 'proofs' that this makes a less irritating smoke, does not convince many toxicologists that they were valid. Of the many irritating combustion products in tobacco smoke, the modification of one has probably little more than a psychological ffect in reducing irritation felt by the smoker."
    • In blindfold tests, finds little to distinguish brands
    • Knocks "the obvious bias of cigarette manufacturers, as well as of the 'scientists' whom they directly or indirectly subsidize."
    • Rates nicotine content, finding:
      • Chesterfield: 2.3 mg nicotine
      • Marlboro: 2.3 mg nicotine
      • Philip Morris: 2.2 mg nicotine
      • Old Gold: 2.0 mg nicotine
      • Camel: 1.9 mg nicotine
      • Lucky Strike: 1.4 mg nicotine(RK)

    • 4. Philip Morris
    • 5. Old Gold (RK)

  • 1939: STATISTICS: Fortune magazine finds 53% of adult American males smoke; 66% of males under 40 smoke.
  • 1939: Congress establishes an export corporation to purchase surplus tobacco and sell it overseas.
  • 1939: GERMANY: Fritz Lickint, in collaboration with the Reich Committee for the Struggle against Adictive Drugs and the German Antitobacco League, publishes Tabak und Organismus (Tobacco and the Organism). Proctor calls the 1,100 page volume "arguably the most comprehensive scholarly indictment of tobacco ever published." It blamed smoking for cancers all along the Rauchstrasse ("smoke alley")--lips, tongue, mouth, jaw, esophagus, windpipe and lungs, and included "a convincing argu ent that 'passive smoking' ( Passivrauchen. . . ) posed a serious threat to nonsmokers." [Proctor, The Nazi War on Cancer]
  • 1939: HEALTH: GERMANY: Franz Muller presents "the world's first controlled epidemiological study of the tobacco-lung cancer relationship." --Proctor. Tabakmissbrauch und Lungencarcinom ("Tobacco Misuse and Lung Carcinoma") finds that "the extraordinary rise in tobacco use [is] the single most important cause of the rising incidence of lung cancer." A brief abstarct is published in the Sept. 30, 1939 issue of JAMA Franz Hermann Muller of the University of Cologne's Pathological Institute finds extremely strong dose relationship between smoking and lung cancer. (Mller FH. Tabakmissbrauch und Lungencarcinom. Zeitschrift fr Krebsforschung 1939;49:5785.)
  • 1939: ADVERTISING: "Philip Morris -- a cigarette recognized by eminent medical authorities for its advantages to the nose and throat"
  • 1939: BUSINESS: Tobacco companies are found price-fixing.
  • 1939: BUSINESS: ATC introduces "king size" Pall Mall. With Pall Mall and Lucky Strike, American will rule the 40s.
  • 1939: GERMANY: Hermann Goring issues a decree forbidding the military to smoke on the streets, on marches, and on brief off duty periods.

  • 1939-1945: WORLD WAR II
      As part of the war effort, Roosevelt makes tobacco a protected crop. General Douglas McArthur makes the corncob pipe his trademark by posing with it on dramatic occasions such as his wading ashore during the invasion and reconquest of the Philippines. Cigarettes are included in GI's C-Rations. Tobacco companies send millions of free cigarettes to GI's, mostly the popular brands; the home front had to make do with off-brands like Rameses or Pacayunes. Tobacco consumption is so fierce a shortage develops. By the end of the war, cigarette sales are at an all-time high.

  • 1940: CONSUMPTION: Adult Americans smoke 2,558 cigarettes per capita a year, 2 1/2 times the consumption of 1930. (RK) (ASG cites per capita consumption for 1940 at 1,976.)
  • 1940: JAPAN: WORLD WAR II: English names on cigarette packs are replaced with Japanese ones as part of a nationwide campaign to boost national prestige.
  • 1940: HEALTH: 7,121 cases of lung cancer reported in the US. (RK).
  • 1940: HEALTH: JAMA publishes an article linking smoking with a higher risk of coronary disease.
    • 1. RJR
    • 2. ATC
    • 3. Liggett & Myers
    • 4. Brown & Williamson
    • 5. Philip Morris (7%)

    • 1. Camel (RJR) (24%)
    • 2. Lucky Strike (ATC) (22.6%)
    • 3. Chesterfield (18%)
    • -- Combined 10 cent brands (12%)
    • 4. Raleigh (B&W) (5.1%)
    • 5. Old Gold (3%)
    • 5. Pall Mall (PM) (2%)
  • 1940s: ENTERTAINMENT: "Raleigh Cigarette Program" airs on radio. Red Skelton's show for a period was broadcast under this name.
  • 1940: GERMANY: 5% of the German tobacco harvest is "nicotine-free tobacco."
  • 1940-1950: MEDIA: George Seldes exposes the suppression of tobacco stories by the nation's press As most tobacco-ad-laden newspapers refused to report the growing evidence of tobacco's hazards, muckraking pioneer George Seldes starts his own newsletter in which he covered tobacco. "For 10 years, we pounded on tobacco as one of the only legal poisons you could buy in America," he told R. Holhut, editor of The George Seldes Reader.
  • 1940-09: Emily Post, America's premier arbiter of etiquette, writes, "those who smoke outnumber those who do not by a hundred to one ... [so nonsmokers] ... must learn to adapt themselves to existing conditions ... and when they come into contact with smokers, it is scarcely fair that the few should be allowed to prohibit the many from the pursuit of their comforts and their pleasures." --"The Etiquette of Smoking." Good Housekeeping. Sept. 1940: 37.

  • 1941: MEDIA: Reader's Digest publishes "Nicotine Knockout" by prizefighter Gene Tunney.
  • 1941: HEALTH: An article by Dr. Michael DeBakey notes a correlation between the increased sale of tobacco and the increasing prevalence of lung cancer
  • 1941: GERMANY: Tobacco taxes account for 1/12th of all revenues flowing into the national treasury. (Proctor).
  • 1941-04-05: GERMANY: The racial hygienist and Professor of Medicine Karl Astel founds the Wissenschaftliches Institut zur Erforschung der Tabakgefahren (Scientific Institute for the Research into the Hazards of Tobacco or Institute for the Struggle Against Tobacco Hazards, as it was also known), at Jena University in Weimar with a 100 000 Reichsmarks grant from Hitler's Reich Chancellery. Shortly after, the industry established its own information organ, the 'Tabacologia medicinalis,' which is soon shut down by Reich Health Fhrer Leonardo Conti. (Proctor).
  • 1941: ADVERTISING: RJR: Camel smoke-ring billboard becomes a Times Square landmark for the next 25 years.
  • 1941: Drs. Alton Oschner and Michael DeBakey published “Carcinoma of the Lung” in Archives of Surgery. The article noted the parallel rise in smoking and lung cancer, concluding that the latter was due mostly to the former, and included a lengthy bibliography of sources from multiple countries. In response, Edward Harlow, a chemist at the American Tobacco Company, circulated an internal memorandum. Referring to research funded or conducted by American Tobacco, Harlow predicted that impartial research would vindicate cigarettes but that “this would never be suspected by reading the extensive medical literature on tobacco.” He also noted that the “medical profession is the group which it is most desired to reach and convince” and that the “tobacco industry is very much in need of some friendly research in this field.” Decision in the Boerner case, Jan 7, 2005.

  • 1942: SCIENCE: British researcher L.M. Johnston successfully substituted nicotine injections for smoking Johnston discusses aspects of addiction including tolerance, craving and withdrawal symptoms. He concludes: Clearly the essence of tobacco smoking is the tobacco and not the smoking. Satisfaction can be obtained from chewing it, from snuff taking, and from the administration of nicotine. The experiment is reported in the British medical journal Lancet.
  • 1942: LITIGATION: 17-year-old Rose Cipollone begins smoking Chesterfields.
  • Rose Cipollone

  • 1942: ARTS: FILM: Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart, and Now Voyager with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid are released.
  • 1942: GERMANY: The Federation of German Women launch a campaign against tobacco and alcohol abuse; restaurants and cafes are forbidden to sell cigarettes to women customers.
  • 1942: ADVERTISING: Brown and Williamson claims that Kools would keep the head clear and/or give extra protection against colds.
  • 1942: BUSINESS: "Lucky Strike Green Has Gone to War." Lucky Strike's green/gold pack turns all-white, with a red bull's eye. The war effort needed titanium, contained in Lucky's green ink, and bronze, contained in the gold. ATC took this opportunity to change the color of the pack--hated by women because it clashed with their dresses--to white. Ad campaign coincides with US invasion of North Africa. Sales increase 38%.
  • 1942: MEDIA: Lucky Strike cigarettes becomes the sponsor of Jack Benny's radio show, after Jell-o drops its sponsorship.
  • 1942-07: Reader's Digest publishes "Cigarette Advertising Fact and Fiction," claiming that cigarettes were essentially all the same, and were deadly.
  • 1942-12-14: THE PRESS The first complete,documented, and authoritative story on tobacco as a cause of diseases and a shortener of life appeared in the Dec 14 1942 issue of George Seldes' IN Fact. --IN Fact, Nov. 14, 1949

  • 1943: ADVERTISING: Philip Morris places an ad in the National Medical Journal which reads: "'Don't smoke' is advice hard for patients to swallow. May we suggest instead 'Smoking Philip Morris?' Tests showed three out of every four cases of smokers' cough cleared on changing to Philip Morris. Why not observe the results for yourself?"
  • 1943: BUSINESS: THAILAND: Cigarette production is made a state monopoly under the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly.
  • 1943-07: GERMANY: LEGISLATION: a law is passed forbidding tobacco use in public places by anyone under 18 years of age.
  • 1943-06-17: BUSINESS: NC: Strike at RJR's Winston-Salem plant begins. The 6-day strike leads to better working conditions for blacks.

  • 1944-07-15: MEDIA: JAMA publishes as its main item "The Effects of Smoking Cigarets." George Seldes claimed mainstream news coverage of the article was generally suppressed.

  • 1945: CONSUMPTION: AUSTRALIA: 75 per cent of adult male Australians smoke.
  • 1945: REGULATION: The three largest tobacco companies are convicted of anti-trust violations.
  • 1945: "We Shall Overcom" is first sung by tobacco workers. Silphia Horton said she learned the song from striking tobacco workers in Charleston, SC.
  • 1945: GERMANY: Cigarettes are the unofficial currency. Value: 50 cents each
  • 1945: BUSINESS: Otway Hebron Chalkley becomes chairman of Philip Morris.
  • 1945-04: MEDIA: College of Physicians & Surgeons publishes "The Effect of Smoking Tobacco on the Cardiovascular System," written by Dr Roth of the Mayo Clinic.
  • 1945-04: GERMANY: Karl Astel, founder of the Scientific Institute for Research into the Dangers of Tobacco, committs suicide, presumably to avoid facing the consequences of his activities as a leading racial hygienist in the Third Reich. The Institute is soon disbanded.

  • 1946: ADVERTISING: RJR begins "More Doctors Smoke Camels" ad campaign. One of the ads cited in B&W's "A Review of Health References in Cigarette Advertising 1927-1964", the phrase will run in ads through 1952.
      "According to a recent nationwide survey: MORE DOCTORS SMOKE CAMELS THAN ANY OTHER CIGARETTE! Family physicians, surgeons, diagnosticians, nose and throat specialists, doctors in every branch of medicine... a total of 113,597 doctors...were asked the question: "What cigarette do you smoke?" And more of them named Camel as their smoke than any other cigarette! Three independent research groups found this to be a fact. You see, doctors too smoke for pleasure. That full Camel flavor is just as appealing to a doctor's taste as to yours...that marvelous Camel mildness means just as much to his throat as to yours. Next time, get Camels. Compare them in your "T-Zone" 30-day test
  • 1946-12-02: MEDIA: Newsweek runs a story by Dr Wm D Stroud, professor of cardiology at the UPenn Graduate School of Medicine, "Smoke, Drink, and Get Well."
  • 1946: A letter from a Lorillard chemist to its manufacturing committee states: "Certain scientists and medical authorities have claimed for many years that the use of tobacco contributes to cancer development in susceptible people. Just enough evidence has been presented to justify the possibility of such a presumption." (Maryland "Medicaid" Lawsuit 5/1/96)

  • 1947: ADVERTISING: RJR invites doctors to its scientific Camel exhibit at the AMA convention.
  • 1947: BUSINESS: CHINA: China closes its tobacco market to foreign companies. BAT, almost half of whose revenues come from China, is especially hurt.
  • 1947-05-18: MEDIA: NY Times Sunday magazine carries a glowIng tribute to tobacco by staff writer W B Hayward, "Why We Smoke -- We Like It." The sidebar, purporting to show an opposing side, contains no mention of recent studies indicating links to heart disease, cancer and decreased longevity.
  • 1947: CULTURE: "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)," Written by Merle Travis for Tex Williams, is national hit. The lyric "Puff, Puff, Puff, And if you smoke yourself to death" is later used in Cipollone case as defense that Rose Cipollone knew cigarettes were dangerous.
  • 1947: LITIGATION: Grady Carter begins smoking Lucky Strikes
  • 1947: Why Do We Smoke Cigarettes? from The Psychology of Everyday Living by Ernest Dichter

  • 1948: HEALTH: UK: Sir Richard Doll has written: On I January 1948, when I began to work with Bradford Hill, there was, if anything, less awareness of the possible iii effects of smoking than there had been 50 years before. For the spread of the cigarette habit, which was as entrenched among male doctors as among the rest of the adult male population (80 per cent of whom smoked) had so dulled the collective sense that tobacco might be a threat to health that the possibility that it might be the culprit was given only scant attention. Doll, R. "The First Reports on Smoking and Lung Cancer."
  • 1948: HEALTH: The Journal of the American Medical Association argues, "more can be said in behalf of smoking as a form of escape from tension than against it . . . there does not seem to be any preponderance of evidence that would indicate the abolition of the use of tobacco as a substance contrary to the public health."
  • 1948: HEALTH: Lung cancer has grown 5 times faster than other cancers since 1938; behind stomach cancer, it is now the most common form of the disease.
  • 1948: BUSINESS: SOUTH AFRICA: Anton Rupert founds The Rembrandt Tobaco Corporation
  • 1948, 1949: MARSHALL PLAN: 93,000 tons of tobacco are shipped free of charge to Germany. [Proctor] An April NY Times headline of 1948 read, "210,000,000 Cigarettes to Aid German Economy."

  • 1949: CONSUMPTION: 44-47% of all adult Americans smoke; over 50% of men, and about 33% of women.
  • 1949: LEGISLATION: Agricultural Adjustment Act is passed again, this time authorizing price supports.
  • 1949: BUSINESS: Industry establishes the Tobacco Tax Council to lobby for lower tobacco taxes.
  • 1949: ADVERTISING: RJR: "Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels!"
  • 1949: MEDIA: RJR: NBC's ''Camel News Caravan,'' a nightly news program, airs, proudly bearing the name of its tobacco-company sponsor. It will run till 1956.

    Next Chapter: The Twentieth Century, 1950-1999--The Battle is Joined


    Chapter 1: Discovery
    Chapter 2: The Sixteenth Century--Sailors Spread the Seeds
    Chapter 3: The Seventeenth Century--"The Great Age of the Pipe"
    Chapter 4: The Eighteenth Century--Snuff Holds Sway
    Chapter 5: The Nineteenth Century--The Age of the Cigar
    Chapter 6: The Twentieth Century, 1900-1950--The Rise of the Cigarette
    Chapter 7: The Twentieth Century, 1950-1999--The Battle is Joined
    Chapter 8: The New Millennium

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