When Doctors Endorsed Cigarettes

Before studies showed that cigarettes caused cancer, tobacco companies recruited the medical community for their ads. What cigarettes do doctors say cause less throat irritation? In the ’30s and ’40s, tobacco companies would happily tell you it was theirs. Doctors hadn’t yet discovered a clear link between smoking and lung cancer, and a majority of them actually smoked cigarettes. So in cigarette ads, tobacco companies used doctors’ authority to make their claims about their cigarettes seem more legitimate. To the modern-day reader, the pitching of cigarettes as healthy (even to youth and pregnant moms) and the use of doctors’ endorsements may appear horrifying. Yet before 1950, there wasn’t good evidence showing that cigarette smoking was bad for you… read more >

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