Cartoonists Take Up Smoking Logo Square
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  • In 1968, Philip Morris launched its Virginia Slims cigarette brand with the slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” The name underscored the pressure on women to be thin, and the slogan associated smoking with the women’s liberation movement. In 1971, the company created the Virginia Slims Women’s Tennis Circuit, telecasts of which circumvented the TV ban on cigarette advertising. Over the next 25 years, athletes as young as 14 were shown playing their matches amid dozens of courtside banners for Virginia Slims.
  • By 1985, lung cancer had surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. women, a fact that went virtually unreported in women’s magazines, nearly all of which continued to accept cigarette advertising. Most still do.

Learn more about the targeting of women by the tobacco industry in our exhibition…

1956 Philip Morris Ad Born Gentle 1 1

“Born gentle…”

Magazine advertisement by Philip Morris Inc. for Philip Morris cigarettes

1977 Virginia Slims Ad Youve Come a Long Way 1 1

“You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Advertisement by Philip Morris, Inc. for Virginia Slims cigarettes
February, 1978

1991 02 04 Sports Illustrated Dakota Ad 1 1


Advertisement by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Sports Illustrated
February 4, 1991

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Telnaes Cartoon Personal Vice Area 1 1

“Personal Vice Area”

Ann Telnaes of King Features Syndicate
January 23, 2003

“Even though I would do more cartoons criticizing the tobacco companies and their ties to Congress, I’ve decided I’m quite against all this legislating smoking in public, like banning it in bars (as in New York City). Either ban tobacco altogether or stop this nonsense.”

— Ann Telnaes

Markstein Cartoon Women Smoking Deaths 1 1

“Women smoking deaths have doubled…”
“Finally, the attention is off us targeting kids.”

Gary Markstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Cigarette smokers inhale, but tobacco execs suck.”

— Gary Markstein

Margulies Cartoon North South Dakota Cigs 1 1

“North Dakota, South Dakota”

Jimmy Margulies, The Record (New Jersey)
The Houston Post

“By the time this cartoon was drawn, the dangers of smoking were very well documented, and common knowledge to everyone. So the fact that a tobacco company would actually target a product to young women in their child-bearing years was just too ridiculously outrageous to let pass.”

— Jimmy Margulies

n.d. Cigs Women Vintage Tract 1 1

Cigarettes & Women

Tract by W. D. Herrstrom about the health effects of cigarette smoking in women
Circa 1930

n.d. Bish Every 3 and Half Minutes

“Every 3 1/2 minutes a woman dies from smoking.”
“Every 3 days a tobacco farmer gets a subsidy check from the government.”

Randy Bish
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Circa 2000

2001 03 26 Tusc News Smoking Takes Heavy Toll on Women 1 1

“Smoking continues to take a heavy toll on women”

Article by Denise Grady of The New York Times
The Tuscaloosa News
March 28, 2001

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