Doctors Prescribed ‘Healthy Cigarette Brands’?
From the 1930’s to the 1950’s, patients were prescribed cigarettes by the doctor, as they weren’t looked at as dangerous as they are now. The cause of this was because tobacco brands hired throat doctors to explain that dust, germs and lack of menthol were to blame when it came to illnesses, not cigarettes. In fact they believed cigarettes weren’t harmful at all and once people started they became addicted!
History of Smoking
Smoking started back as early as 500 BC in America, with the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century. In the 16th Century Wealthy men used to smoke tobacco and in pipes, whereas the working class would chew it. It was not until the late 19th century, cigarette making machines were invented and this is when there was an explosion in the market and consumption increased rapidly.
Tobacco Companies started campaigns in magazines and newspapers to encourage people to smoke with adverts such as ‘Dr Penguin says menthol is good for you’ which was published in 1938. The aim was to make people believe that cigarettes actually soothed the throat instead of damaging it.
Next they made a comic strip that involved a father and son relationship and the moral of the story was to portray the child to be smart because he listened to the doctors to start smoking for health benefits.
Shortly after in 1948 the links between smoking and lung cancer were becoming apparent. Cigarette manufacturers disputed this evidence, as part of an orchestrated conspiracy to salvage cigarette sales. An anti-nicotine diet was started by tobacco companies and low nicotine cigarettes were introduced. The aim was to reduce nicotine intake and their slogan was ‘without giving up a single cigarette’. Companies had a doubt that there was relationship between lung cancer and tobacco, so instead of admitting to the health problem they found a solution to cover it so they didn’t lose their profits!
In the mid 1950’s, more research was being done and it was finally confirmed and published that tobacco caused lung cancer. After this had been presented to the public, cigarette brands started to slowly band together as they realised the industry was in massive danger and started an advertising campaign promoting cigarettes.