College of Community Health Sciences | University of Alabama
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View our curated exhibitions.
Our themed collections of tobacco material.
Audio and video archives.
Our staff and sponsors.
The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society was established at the University of Alabama in 1998 when its director, Dr. Alan Blum was appointed to the endowed chair in the College of Community Health Sciences. It is an outgrowth of the tobacco archive which Dr. Blum established in the 1970’s to preserve the materials held and to serve as an international resource on tobacco issues.
The primary purpose of the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society is to explore, investigate, compare and contrast the historical and contemporary aspects of the tobacco issue and the role and influence of tobacco in society through an interdisciplinary approach that involves research, professional education, and community outreach.
The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society draws from a multi-disciplinary advisory committee served by representatives from a variety of colleges at The University of Alabama and by a group of ad hoc advisors from throughout the world—distinguished individuals from the fields of history, law, anthropology, museum studies, publishing, library science, public health, and medicine.
The tobacco archive held by the Center is unique because it is the only socio-cultural resource which documents the tobacco issue from all vantage points, from public health and anti-smoking strategies to the social, agricultural, economic, and promotional aspects.
The archive’s collections include newspapers, magazines, business trade journals, annual reports, advertisements, point-of-sale displays, posters, signs, toys, video tapes, audio tapes, and more than 25,000 photographs and slides.
In establishing the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society, The University of Alabama brought together this interdisciplinary team in order to better understand the dynamics and complexities of this important issue, and to serve as an international model for training, education, and research in this area.
This collection is comprised of items relating to Dr. Alan Blum’s editorship of the Medical Journal of Australia (1982-1983) and the New York State Journal of Medicine (1983-1985), during which he produced the first three theme issues at any medical journal about the world cigarette pandemic…
The Center for Tobacco And Society’s Sports and Tobacco Exhibitions
Corporate sponsorship of the arts was pioneered by Philip Morris as a means of diverting attention from the medical evidence of cigarette smoking’s devastating death toll…
Inspired by postmodern avant garde art, iconic ad campaigns to promote the brand Silk Cut sought to circumvent advertising regulations and made it the best-selling cigarette brand in the UK.
The American Medical Association Rewrites Tobacco History…
How New York City became the Heart of the Tobacco Industry…and Anti-Smoking activism.
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. This exhibition explores the important role tobacco played in the war, both in the battlefield trenches and on the home front. The seeds were also planted for a pandemic of smoking-caused diseases.
Tobacco has a long history in the movies, these ads showcase classic movie star spokespeople.
This exhibit highlights the connections and illustrates the history of tobacco’s relationship with minority communities…
The Virginia Slims Women’s Professional Tennis Circuit was the first sport to be named after a cigarette brand. This exhibition traces the evolution of the devastating health impact of this lucrative sponsorship by Philip Morris, as well as efforts by grassroots groups to ban tobacco from all forms of sport…
An exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health released by Alabamian Dr. Luther Terry.
Thanks to campaigns set to combat it, youth smoking has declined dramatically in recent decades. This exhibition traces the connections between children and cigarettes, aswell as efforts to protect youth from addicition and the devastating health consequences of smoking.
Anti-Smoking Stamps from Around the World & The Surgeon General’s Stamp Campaign
As the 20th century came to a close in the 1980s and 1990s many cultural institutions came under scrutiny and outright ridicule. One of these cultural touchstones that became a punching bag for the potent pens of editorial cartoonists was smoking and big tobacco…
Covering a wide range of tobacco related issues, these stories represent a personal piece of Dr. Blum’s legacy as not only a renowned anti-tobacco crusader, but also a vocal critic of the medical profession in its handling of the tobacco pandemic…
Dr. Alan Blum is interviewed by WUVA-23 for a segment on smokeless tobacco.
Dr. Alan Blum’s January 2020 guest editorial in the Cancer Letter.
Dr. Alan Blum is interviewed by WUVA-23 for a segment on The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society’s exhibition at the Bryant Museum
Alan Blum, M.D. and Ransome Eke, M.D., Ph.D., MCHES are featured in the June 2021 edition of The Lancet
The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society has moved to the Northeast Medical Building at the University of Alabama