Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society
Multimedia: Video, Infographic, and Audio Highlights
Since the 1980s, with the support of the John P. McGovern Foundation and the Henry and Edith Everett Foundation, Alan Blum, MD, founder and director of the University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society has made hundreds of audio and video recordings of interviews, TV and radio news stories, tobacco-sponsored cultural and sporting events, and personal accounts of his experiences as an anti-smoking activist. The oral histories he has recorded include criticism not only of the tobacco industry but also of the pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Administration, academia, the mass media, national health charities, health policy institutes, and even “tobacco control” organizations for their timidity. (View Oral History Page Here)
Since giving his first public presentation on “The Killer Habits” on WAGA-TV Channel 5, Atlanta on October 7, 1974 as a medical student at Emory university School of Medicine, Alan Blum, MD has been invited to give over 2000 presentations on counteracting the promotion of unhealthy products, with a focus on the tobacco industry and its allies. Using humor, satire, and parody in variations of his signature talk, “Medicine vs. Madison Avenue: Fighting Smoke with Fire,” Dr. Blum has educated and entertained audiences in every state and in over 20 other countries, including more than 100 medical schools. But his presentations aren’t intended to preach to the converted. They explore the defeats of the anti-smoking movement as well as its triumphs; the decades-long fear and foot-dragging of academia, the mass media, and medical societies in confronting the purveyors of cigarettes, alcohol, and junkfood; and the failure to put their money where there mouth is to purchase counteradvertising messages. Click here to view a selection of Dr. Blum’s presentations at the University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences.
The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society’s YouTube playlist includes many of the videos featured in the more than 25 exhibitions produced by the Center, as well as others related to the tobacco industry, cigarette marketing, and anti-smoking activism over the past half century.
Infographics and Posters
Beginning with the Fifth World Conference on Smoking and Health in Winnipeg in 1983, Dr. Blum has presented over 45 talks and research posters at successive world tobacco control conferences, including the most recent one (the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health) in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018. In addition, The Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society has presented more than 20 talks at the US National Tobacco Conference, including the most recent one in New Orleans in 2022. Several posters in the past decade have been co-authored by students in the Catherine J. Randall Research Scholars Program in the University of Alabama’s Honors College. The Center has converted several of these posters into interactive webpages.