Did you know that as far back as 1912 Dr. Isaac Adler observed a significant increase in lung cancers among smokers? By this time several states had already banned the sale, manufacture, possession, advertising, and/or use of cigarettes. In 1927 the tobacco companies started using doctors in their advertisements to counter the concerns over the health risks of smoking. Tobacco control laws had already started falling by the late 1920s.
Did you know that when the U.S. joined World War I in 1917 cigarette rations were given to the soldiers? Those opposed to sending cigarettes to the soldiers were accused of being traitors. General John J. Pershing said they needed tobacco as much as bullets to win the war. An entire generation returned from the war addicted to cigarettes.
Did you know that in 1927 Marlboro, Camel and Lucky Strike advertisements targeted women for the first time? Smoking initiation rates for adolescent females tripled between 1925-1935.
Did you know that by 1928 a German scientist proposed that lung cancers among non-smoking women could be caused by inhaling their husbands’ smoke?
Did you know that by 1930 2,357 cases of lung cancer were reported in the U.S? Researchers in Germany made a statistical correlation between cancer and smoking. And the Journal of the American Medical Association decried health claims made by cigarette ads. Britain had the highest rate of lung cancer in the world.
Did you know that by 1939 53% of adult American males smoke and 66% of males under 40 smoke? Germany publishes a 1,100 page volume called Tobacco and the Organism, “arguably the most comprehensive scholarly indictment of tobacco ever published.” It blamed smoking for cancers of the lips, tongue, mouth, jaw, esophagus, windpipe and lungs, and said passive smoke (secondhand smoke) posed a serious threat to nonsmokers.
Did you know the smoking bans of today are lenient compared to a century ago? Then it was against the law to even possess cigarettes; now it is more difficult to find a place to smoke. Generations of smokers did not know the dangers of tobacco because it was either unknown, or suppressed by the tobacco industry and argued against as here-say. Newspapers did not want to offend the tobacco industry because tobacco was one of their biggest sources of revenue, so negative stories were not printed or were hidden away on the back pages. But that was then. In today’s press, health issues are hot topics and information on the dangers of tobacco is published almost on a daily basis. The tobacco industry now admits the addictiveness of their product, but counters that statement with one of their own: “it’s not that hard to quit.”
Did you know the internet is an easy gateway for finding information on tobacco or finding a support group to help you quit? The industry can no longer hide the ingredients of their products or its health risks. Prior research by tobacco companies showing they knew all along about the dangers of their products are easily found. Yet many tobacco users do not look up information before lighting up or putting smokeless tobacco products in their mouth. It is a spur-of-the-moment decision with a lifelong addiction, and possibly deadly consequences.
Did you know The Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention and Intervention Teacher Training Course provides teachers with information on tobacco to teach to their students? This free, on-line course provides lesson plans and provides up to 60 teacher in-service credits as approved by your district. Check out our site.
Did you know there is no good reason to continue to use tobacco?
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