Cartoonists Take Up Smoking Logo Square
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Medicine and Health

  • Although physicians had raised concerns about the health hazards of smoking since the 1800s, from the 1920s to the 1940s the number of reports in medical journals implicating cigarette smoking as a cause of cancer (for example, Lombard and Doering New England Journal of Medicine 1928;198:481-7) and premature death (for example, Pearl in Science 1938;87:216-7) rose steadily. Cigarette makers shrugged off these findings by turning to the image of dedicated physicians, more than two-thirds of whom still smoked, to sell their product. In 1946, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company debuted an advertising campaign on radio and in newspapers and magazines for its flagship Camel cigarette brand with the slogan, “More Doctors Smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”
  • Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, RJ Reynolds and other cigarette makers including Philip Morris, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard were exhibitors at national and state medical meetings, including the annual convention of the American Medical Association (AMA).
  • Advertisements for cigarettes appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for two decades until 1954–four years after the landmark reports on smoking and lung cancer by Doll and Hill in England (British Medical Journal 1950;117:39-48) and Wynder and Graham in the United States (JAMA 1950;143:329-36) and fully 13 years after the comprehensive review of smoking and lung cancer by Ochsner and DeBakey (Archives of Surgery 1941;42:209-258). As recently as 1983, a cigarette advertisement by the American Tobacco Company with the slogan “Carlton is lowest” (in carcinogenic “tar”) appeared in a mass-circulation medical publication, Physician East.
1937 10 16 Sat Eve Post PM Ad Report on the Findings

“A Report On The Findings Of A Group Of Doctors”

Advertisement, Philip Morris cigarettes
The Saturday Evening Post
October 16, 1937

1937 10 23 Sat Eve Post Kool Ad Tell Him to Switch

“Tell Him To Switch To KOOLS”

The Saturday Evening Post
October 23, 1937

1949 Embassy Ad Inhale to Your Hearts Content

“Inhale to your heart’s content!”

Advertisement, Embassy cigarettes
LIFE Magazine


n.d. PM Ad On Request Smoking Studies

“On Request: Smoking Studies”

Advertisement, Philip Morris cigarettes
New York State Journal of Medicine
Circa 1938

1952 Chesterfield Ad Spotlights On Chesterfield

“The Spotlight’s On Chesterfield”


1946 Viceroy Ad 19293 Dentists Advise

“19,293 Dentists Advise”

Advertisement, Viceroy cigarettes
LIFE Magazine


1940 PM Ad An Ounce of Prevention

“An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure”

Advertisement, Philip Morris cigarettes
LIFE Magazine
Circa 1940

“The Great Smoking Debate: The American Cancer Society vs. Mr. Butts” (10 pages)

Brochure published by the American Cancer Society and illustrated by Garry Trudeau

1979 09 29 Frank A Oski Chicago Sun Times Yes Im a docotr and I smoke

“Yes, I’m a Doctor and I Smoke”

Op-ed by Frank A. Oski, MD
Chicago Sun-Times
September 29, 1979

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1981 Sullivan Cartoon AMA Keeps Its Tobacco Stocks

Bob Sullivan

Worcester Telegram (Massachusetts)

1989 01 15 Paul Szep Death toll exceeds 400000 in US

Paul Szep

The Boston Globe

1998 Steve Kelly San Diego Union Tribune Marlboro man schmarlboro man

Steve Kelley

The San Diego Union-Tribune
June 7, 1998

1981 Stayskal Cartoon Cig Stock in AMA Pension Fund

Wayne Stayskal

Chicago Tribune
June 15, 1981

1982 Dale Taylor Which is the leading cause of death in America 1

Dale Taylor

New York Tribune

1997 05 18 Kevin Kallaugher Cough

Kevin Kallaugher

Baltimore Sun
May 18, 1997

1995 David Horsey Seattle Post Intelligencer Nonsense Ya caint git aids from cigarettes

David Horsey

Seattle Post-Intelligencer 

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