Video of the Day: Puff on This

What did the busy doctor of 1949 do to catch a moment’s pause on his busy rounds?

[Please note: This scenario refers to a now-mythic era in American life when doctors actually left their offices and went to where the sick lay ailin’.]

Why, of course, they smoked, as several items in a collection of smoking ads kept by the Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising project attest.

The project makes public many examples of print and moving-image ads from throughout the long, duplicitous history of cigarette smoking. Also collected by the project, which is based at the Stanford School of Medicine, are examples of social media related to smoking.

The exhibition, “Not a Cough in a Carload: Images from the Campaign by the Tobacco Industry to Hide the Hazards of Smoking,”  was displayed at Stanford University in 2007 and then at several other institutions in the United States and Brazil.

Participants in the interdisciplinary SRITA project – scholars and students of various branches of medicine as well as history and anthropology – analyze the effects of tobacco advertising, marketing, and promotion, over the decades, the current one, included.

The items offer diverting opportunities to parse out the carefully phrased rhetoric of Big Tobacco. Can you spot the bald-faced deceptions, in this doozy?

“Time out for many men of medicine usually means just long enough to enjoy a cigarette. And because they know what a pleasure it is to smoke a mild, good-tasting cigarette. They’re particular about the brand they choose.”

“In a repeated national survey, doctors in all branches of medicine, doctors in all parts of the country, were asked…

…‘What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor?’”

“Once again the brand named most was Camel. Yes, according to this repeated nationwide survey, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”

“Why not change to Camels for the next 30 days…

and see what a difference it makes in your smoking enjoyment?”

“See how camels agree with your throat. See how mild and good-tasting a cigarette can be.”

Oh, and how many should you puff? This informative Chesterfield ad suggests an appropriate dosage:

“A group of people smoked only Chesterfields for six month, in their normal amounts – 10 to 40 a day…”

Categories: Shorts

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