World War I made America a global power, and one of the necessities of our fighting men was cigarettes. The slogan of Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco, “The Makin’s of a Nation,” did not exaggerate the enormous contribution of tobacco to morale in the military. It would take nearly 20 years for doctors to notice the adverse health consequences of cigarette smoking, more than five decades for government health agencies to acknowledge the pandemic of smoking-related diseases, and nearly a century to tackle the problem head-on.
Uncle Sam staring down the Hun
Artist: Louis Raemaekers
Image from poster announcing an exhibition of Raemaekers’ work
Image credit: Library of Congress