Big Tobacco in the Big Apple

How New York City Became the Heart of the Tobacco Industry
…and Anti Smoking Activism

Magazines Published in New York


Cigarette Ads Influence the Coverage of Smoking and Health (1:56)

Virtually every magazine and newspaper published in New York City carried cigarette advertising. Some even published articles that were covertly written by the tobacco companies to try to play down the growing concerns about smoking and health in the 1950s. An example is in TRUE Magazine. An article commissioned by the industry was entitled “Smoke without Fear,” or “Who says smoking gives men lung cancer?” Copies of this were distributed in tobacco shops throughout New York and mailed to tobacco distributors to send to their customers.

One might have expected scandal sheets like the National Enquirer to take cigarette advertisements. And indeed they do to this day, but it’s disappointing to look back and see that publications such as Ms. Magazine were mainstays of cigarette advertising. I spoke with [Ms. publisher] Gloria Steinem on a radio interview that she was giving on WNYC and asked her how she could continue to accept cigarette advertising in her publication–even on the back cover of the Health Issue–and she bristled, became quite angry, and said, “Would you rather us not publish?!”

TIME Magazine and all sorts of others would publish stories on breast cancer or women and heart disease on the front cover–and a cigarette advertisement on the back cover. The Village Voice was a prime vehicle for cigarette advertising and not just the ads themselves, but also ads that wrapped around entertainment schedules such as the Camel Sound Board or the Marlboro Country Music events that they announced.

Of course, Time-Warner, long the publisher of the major weekly magazines in the United States, LIFE Magazine and TIME Magazine, was a major recipient of cigarette advertising dollars. So was Newsweek, which would have a cover story in the late 1970s, “What causes cancer?” and would list the causes of cancer in alphabetical order, starting with arsenic and asbestos. Way down the list was “tobacco smoke.” On the back cover, of course, was an ad for Viceroy cigarettes.

“‘Stop Cancer’ Drive Suppresses Scientific News Linking Disease to Well-Advertised Cigarettes” (4 pages)

Newsletter article
In fact: An Antidote for Falsehood in the Daily Press
George Seldes, Editor
July 28, 1947

“I am taking the liberty of enclosing, for your reference, a copy of ‘Smoke Without Fear’

Cover letter by Harden E. Goldstein (1918-1969), director of the National Association of Tobacco Distributors (NATD), sent to NATD members with a copy of TRUE The Men’s Magazine article.
September 20, 1954

“Smoke Without Fear”

Reprint of article in TRUE The Men’s Magazine, “Who Says Smoking Gives Men Lung Cancer?”
July 1954

“Who Says Smoking Gives Men Lung Cancer?” (10 pages)

Article by Donald G. Cooley underwritten by the tobacco industry
TRUE The Men’s Magazine
July, 1954

“Smoking and Lung Cancer”

Cover story
Consumer Reports
June 1963

“A Brief Review of the Smoking-Lung Cancer Theory”

Transcript of an address by Clarence Cook Little, managing director of the American Cancer Society and Scientific Director of the  Scientific Advisory Board of the Council for Tobacco Research, to Monroe County Cancer Association, Inc. in Rochester, New York
April 28, 1960

“Force Dogs to Smoke Cigarettes”

Front page story
National Enquirer
August 8, 1965

“Uterine Cancer: Are You High-Risk?”/ Virginia Slims cigarette advertisement

Front and back covers
Harper’s Bazaar
September, 1974

“What Causes Cancer?”/ Viceroy cigarette advertisement

Front and back covers
January 26, 1976

“There’s a little Eve in every woman.”

Front cover and cigarette advertisement on page page 106
February 1976

“Keeping Fit”/ Merit cigarette advertisement

Front and back covers
May 23, 1977

“Chesterfield – Marlboro – Cosmopolitan

Front cover and interior page cigarette advertisements
January 1944

“Camel Soundboard”

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.
The Village Voice, pages 70-71
September 4, 1984

“New! It’s filtered! Lucky Strikes Again”

Cigarette advertisement
American Brands
The Village Voice
October 26, 1982

“The Beauty Of Health”/ Now cigarettes advertisement

Front and back covers
Ms. Magazine
May 1986

“Breast Cancer”/ Carlton cigarettes advertisement

Front and back covers
TIME Magazine
January 14, 1991

“The Health Issue”/ Marlboro cigarettes advertisement

Front and back covers
April, 1998

“Katie Holmes Gets Experimental”/ Lucky Strike cigarettes advertisement 

Front and back covers
December/January 2001

“Women & Heart Disease”/ Camel cigarettes advertisement

Front and back covers
TIME Magazine
April 28, 2003

Fashion Rocks/ Camel No. 9 cigarettes advertisement

Front and back covers
Fashion Rocks supplement

Glamour/ Pall Mall cigarettes advertisement

Front and back covers
July, 2007


Explore Mass Media Allies with the Links Below

Or use the navigation bar to visit other sections of the Exhibition

I saw it in The Times Ad pitch
Wall Street Journal 1982 Merit full page  2
cosmo 1
resolute smokers
1969 The Peril Ahead Front Cover Kent Ad
Lucy color ad for Philip Morris 1953
lot of money in marlboro 1987 ad 1

© Copyright - The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society