Reading 2022-01-25


  • Ref:: History, Hacker News
  • Title:: When cigarette companies used doctors to push smoking
  • Author:: Becky Little
  • Year of publication:: 2018
  • Category:: Blog
  • Topic::

Notes from reading

To the modern-day reader, the pitching of cigarettes as healthy (even to youth and pregnant moms) and the use of doctors’ endorsements may appear horrifying. Yet before 1950, there wasn’t good evidence showing that cigarette smoking was bad for you.

1930-smoking-ads Fig. A 1930 Lucky Strike advertisement

ref: daenz
Look at the timeline:

  • 1930 - first cigarette company uses physicians in their ads
  • 1950s - evidence starts mounting that smoking causes lung cancer
  • 1964 - US Surgeon General report on the link between smoking and cancer
  • 1998 - cigarette companies still maintained that the link is controversial

So it takes 70 years, or nearly an entire generation, before all of the machinery at play (businesses, government, healthcare, scientists) can effectively come to the conclusion that they messed up badly and sold people poison