Matt Henderson Dr. Hilbert The Cigarette Century March 23, 2009 The Cigarette Century Book Review The Cigarette Century, the undisputed rise and dramatic decline of cigarette consumption in the United States. There are powerful cultural values that account for the resilience of the cigarette and the all the drama that comes along with it. The once ever popular and more noticeable behavior smoking had as we have seen it progress and sometimes decline has eventually become a marginalized and often stigmatized practice. The modern cigarette, was born in the late 19th century in the U.S, but for the longest time remained the industry's neglected and undersold user placing 2nd under chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco.
The rise of the cigarette simply changed the American Culture, burning through the nations industry, government, and obviously the science and health organizations as well. Cigarettes has more than fifty illnesses and twenty causes of death associated with it. It’s absolutely insane to think at one point America saw smoking as glamorous or even a symbol of elegance, devastating millions of people with the effects of smoking and the cancers it holds as well.During World War I and World War II, cigarettes were rationed to soldiers. In some countries as well as the U. S, made cigarettes a state monopoly, which the Unites states determines certain cigarette taxes and where tobacco for the cigarette is considered an essential product which tends to get the least taxed. In this case, the government says that tobacco for the cigarette is a necessity because so many people buy them and essentially helps America grow stronger and in a lot of cases weaker along with the cigarette.
Giant pieces of culture, science, politics, law and global spread of the cigarette doesn’t even pause to analyze the paradox of smoking that ultimately turns into your death. Smokers in America are ambushed with a wide variety of overwhelming tobacco advertising; cultural aesthetics, peer pressure, the ever addicting nicotine, and turning to the youth urging for rebellion against the normality’s of society. The boom in smoking after World War I was recognized as well seen as a relaxant in order to combat the scalding stress of trench warfare.The cigarette dawned with the age and support from substantial manufacturing advances in technology and marketing strategies, which was further moved along by dramatic shifts in American culture and social norms following the end of World War I. The cigarette and tobacco industry engulfed the entire nation in a single heartbeat. In the early 1900’s, cigs accounted an astonishing 5% of all domestic tobacco that is until the near midcentury and the outbreak of the second World War nearly half of all adults smoked and even more for the enlisted men and women of the armed forces.All of a sudden cigarettes were everywhere with ashtrays littering every room: offices, clubs, and practically every American home as well.
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As Brandt describes that the tobacco companies were the rotten eggs from the start, they began to exploit and expand their product to the waiting hands of Americans. No health hazards of smoking were ever proven so it just seemed to add to the fact that smoking was ok and were readily available to all who wished to purchase them.However the cigarette and its mothering tobacco companies took a devastating blow after World War II when the connection was made between smoking and lung cancer. Being faced with crushing news the tobacco industry constructed a formidable defense not denying the health risks of smoking, but illustrated another side to the story stating pleasurable affects and other broad statements that people were skeptical about. Brandt also writes that his book, “The Cigarette Century” breaks out into a meticulous record of numerous courtroom clashes that basically defined the life of a cigarette and its place in American society.However these infamous trials have yet to cripple the industry as Brandt and many others had hoped to happen, but they have delivered mortal wounds more effectively in the beginning which brought upon years of documentation on the industries personal outlook on health concerns. Brandt Quotes “Create an even Bigger Monster (AIDS) that has made every transaction since then feel like a deal with the devil, on top of a dance of death.
” He also concludes that cigarette tobacco is cancer causing and promoting, extremely poisonous, and unfortunately stimulating, pleasurable and lavorful. No other domestic or imported has even come close to being so heavily promoted or so deeply interlocked with the American consciousness. Also the invention of mass marketing ultimately lead to cigs being presented in advertising and film having deep ties and connections with fame and sex appeal. Even more surprising is that this product, cigarette tobacco has endured more scrutiny and criticism than any other product in the world. New medical research and pure knowledge of tobacco has also shaped the evolution and creation of modern medicine as well.In a last ditch effort Brandt tells the audience that these tobacco companies are trying to delay and disrupt these studies that could potentially destroy the cigarette industry. But even as American culture has begun to show dominance and declined consumption cigarettes look to expand into new global markets.
Before the cigarette thee was tobacco. Having being domesticated by early Native Americans tobacco and its many products would remain a foundation in our nation’s economy. Tobacco played a central role in behaviors, rituals, and social activities of the modern American.James Duke almost single handedly invented the modern day cigarette. U. S manufactures deployed hundreds of cig rollers in an effort to increase the demand; however there were many attempts to replace these workers with machines; however the machines proved no match against the speed and precision of the human hand. Although the breakthrough came when James Bonsack introduced a rolling machine that could produce 200 cigs per minute basically as much as a human hand could produce in an hour’s time thus came the end of human rollers in the late 1800’s.
It would be almost 2 decades later that the tobacco companies and congress would collide under the violation of the Sherman Act with basically sets limits on cartels and monopolies which fall under the antitrust laws. These laws created by congress established free trade amongst companies, banning anti-competitive practices that tend to lead to such a dominant position, and supervising the mergers and acquisitions of large corporations. In May 1911, The American Tobacco Company was found guilty of violating the Sherman antitrust act and was ordered to dissolve.More court cases would present themselves under violation of the Sherman antitrust act as key elements of cigarette consumption had been clearly established. Many of these attributes went hand in hand with the increasing aggressiveness of the promotion of youth. The cigarettes dangerously addictive ingredients assured that once people became a smoker, you’d most likely remain a smoker. Duke never realized that cigarette would dominate the tobacco industry for decades to come as others thought it was just another fad in tobacco’s long history.
What he failed to realize was that this product, which he had done so much to invent would be a stepping stone of its modern development. Economic success and its material trappings of the cigarette invited moral failure. As the growing popularity of the cigarette threatened to shatter aspects of these threatened values, their guardians, the antitobacco movement would mount a defense against this upcoming threat. Brandt, states that it’s a fight to free our beloved nation from a form of mental slavery.In Los Angeles people that believed in the antitobacco movement were drawn into its cause and decided to seek treatment for their tobacco addictions thus changing American culture and promoting the idea of self-awareness of an individual’s health. Although in New York petitioned to repeal a law that had banned cigarettes on the rear bumpers of their cars in which tobacco companies supported. This very act of more public space marked a critical attribute to the rise of the cigarette.
The use of cigarettes in the military became the frontlines of this epic battleground.The cigarette to un-enlisted men seemed to project an image of military decorum as they were soon quick to enlist, however the military recommended that enlistees under the age of 21 be prohibited from smoking which rapidly ran into harsh resistance. By the time the United States entered World War I opposition of any age in the military seemed to cease to exist as the high risk of death throughout the was seemed to have some gratification when it came to smoking cigarettes in the trenches. The moral threat of smoking seemed just fine and seemed positively safe in the short run compared to all the violence and war going around the men.General Pershing of the United States Army pleaded back to the home front that they needed tobacco as much as bullets in order to win the war clearly showing the government yielding to cigarettes and its tobacco. Soldiers and pro-smoker activists agreed that tobacco may not be a necessity in life but it sure helps ease the hardships of war as nothing else could do making it seem like the culture now resided around the cigarette. During the war the American public combined its resources and shifted its views towards smoking and actually started to construct funds or smoking comforts for the boys overseas.
The Army being surprised by the public effort began to issue out tobacco rations. Both World Wars would now mark the critical point in establishing the cigarette as the most dominate product of the modern American consumer culture. Rather than disrupting the rise of the consumer culture, both wars actually seemed to be accelerating the process. More overwhelmingly due to promotional efforts being closely tied to patriotism and morale, was proving to be incredibly successful transforming the cigarette into an ultimate cultural icon.After the war, people were committed to the cigarette and the taste that came with it. The “Coming of the Camel” by R. J Reynolds was the first to jump on the bandwagon and go after the taste of the cigarette being that the taste depended as much on the American culture as it did on the blend of tobacco.
It was here that Camel became the first truly national cigarette brand covering the nation with its new taste and style. The ongoing attacks led by non-smokers paradoxically made the cigarette even more powerful symbol of the modern culture and polished its appeal to all ages.More importantly the more violent and aggressive the attacks on cigarettes occurred the more popular it came. This cigarette century has finally arrived in America. Cigarettes and smoking quickly spread through the culture and into gender sexuality, new manufacturing agencies and in a new age of consumer consumption and its design. These companies soon realized that smoking had become the social norm and they soon grew eager to shape the new territory. Going after the women smokers companies advertised using women in frequent tobacco ads in an attempt to conjure both the female and the male.
The goal of the ads were simply to transform the young school girls and boys of America and convert them into cigarette addicts regardless of the already established medical and health findings on smoking dangers. Political figures and policy makers seemed to approve the creation of the product because of its increasingly positive effect on the nation’s economy. The cigarette really suggested too many that its demand could be recognized and shaped by the techniques of advertising simply finding out Americas likes and dislikes and wants and what it doesn’t want from the cigarette.The cigarette in this case simply reflected on the importance of its design in order to organize the new consumer consciousness for both male and female along with constructing the meaning and purpose of their product. There was intense competition as aggressive tactics copy and packaging were crucial in the destruction of all the competing tobacco companies. Companies invested millions into advertising their product through TV or even through the daily newspaper in order to reach out to their consumers. As new advertising media became available the industries moved quickly to seize these promotional opportunities.
During the 1930’s tobacco companies became the most famous and prolific advertisers on the commercial radio broadcasting to millions of Americans nationwide. By the 1930’s it became eminently clear that cigarettes would once again dominate over all the other forms of tobacco consumption. The cigarette had surprising reverberated throughout the entire economy pushing tobacco to be the 4th largest cash crop in the nation and in some states it was the 1st. It had deeply seeded itself in the American culture and by the middle of the century had become central command in the modern nation’s industrial economy.Even as the consumer culture flourished, criticism remained, not only to the cigarette but the cultural norms as well. It would only become later in the century that health risks of smoking would present themselves in very powerful ways. The cigarette, the ultimate icon of our consumer culture, serves as a vehicle for people to explore critical aspects of American life.
From agriculture to big business, from medicine to politics, The Cigarette Century shows how smoking came to be so deeply implicated in our culture, science, policy, and law.Now The World Health Organization now predicts 1 billion deaths over the next hundred years; ten times as many as died in the 20th century. Smokers have a harder time healing from surgeries, and have more overall health issues than do nonsmokers as many people die every year from illnesses caused by smoking. Smoking increases your chances of getting cancer. Cigarette smoking may play a role in developing many kinds of cancer. Lung cancer is the most common kind of cancer caused by smoking. As the risk of losing your unborn baby or having a stillborn baby is higher if you are pregnant and smoke.
Babies born to smoking mothers often weigh less, and are at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death due to smoking being that 90% of lung cancer cases are due to smoking. Cancer can start in many areas of the mouth, with the most common being on or underneath the tongue, or on the lips. Cigarette smoking was such a normal thing and had been for such a long time it’s difficult to even have considered that it could be associated with any sort of disease.Children and teens are especially vulnerable to the hazards of smoking. Because their bodies are not fully mature, smoking interferes with normal lung development in those who begin smoking as children or adolescents. Young people who smoke may become even more strongly addicted to cigarettes and face a greater risk for developing lung cancer than those who start smoking later in life.
Teens who smoke are also more likely to have depression or other psychological problems. They are also more likely to engage in other dangerous behaviors like alcohol and/or experimenting with new drugs.Many people in this book did all they could to stop smoking however they were too little to late as soon many of them died as they had fallen victim to the very product that had been the center of their lives. The root causes of cigarette smoking sent shockwaves to the tobacco companies into its core. Physicians advised individuals to cut down on smoking however they couldn’t guarantee anyone that any level of smoking would even be considered as safe. Cigarettes were tied as being the most feared disease of the century placing 2nd only to cancer.Research companies then banded together to focus on product design and make new modifications and small changes to enhance the mildness and try to vary the taste.
Tobacco companies soon realized they had lost control of the cultural processes they had utilized in their creation of the modern cigarette. Basically the industries found themselves in uncharted waters and the boat in which they were in was beginning to take on water fast. Having dealing with all these issues corporations responded with unethical disruptions and intrusions into the medical and scientific processes and procedures that were combating the cigarette.The scientists retaliated back by stating, “If the tobacco people are smart, as we all know they are because they have been enormously successful, then they will support research to find out what the cancer-producing substance is, and then take measures in trying to remove it. ” Hill ; Knowlton was one of the world’s five largest public relations firms. The tobacco companies however had taken some precautionary measures of their own being that some local newspapers supported them stating that tobacco companies were taking the right steps in finding out if there was any truth or not in the recent scares about cigarette smoking and lung cancer.Despite all the attention that smoking was getting and accused of factoring human lung cancer, no one has yet established that cigarette smoke, or any of its known ingredients, was cancer causing to humans as research has shown us.
Tobacco companies would repeatedly insist that the evidence for the relationship between smoking and lung cancer was based on statistical data and it fundamentally misrepresented the emerging scientific data. As we can conclude that the tobacco industries had used Hill ; Knowlton to its fullest potential placing the harms and health risks of smoking back in the realm of doubt amongst Americans.The industry’s of course maintained its posture of scientific doubts that really created a shield that protected them against new regulatory initiatives. The identification of the cigarette as well as the causes of serious diseases has marked a critical turning point in history regarding public health. Just as the tobacco industry’s had before created technology for mass producing cigarettes they had know developed new techniques of mass producing controversy and doubt into the public. The public health service concluded that the evidence at hand places smoking as the primary factor in the increased incidences of lung cancer.Government agencies had now stepped in and begun to recognize and publicize the harms of cigarettes as well.
With the huge amount of evidence from scientists and the government presented to the people it’s only logical for them at the time to draw their own conclusions regarding the concerning effects of cigarette smoking. Reports soon began to fall into the hands of the consumers as the industries sought an opportunity to change its course and begin to warn its consumers about the risks of using their product.Following the releases of these reports the government would assert new authority and take responsibility for the important health concerns during this time. It seemed like now the American public now looked to the government for scientifically public health policies concerning the cigarette. The cigarette seemed to now cower behind our constitution in order to shell itself from persecution now only from the government, but the American consumer. However it’s clear to the udience and the reader as well that Brandt wants us to realize that the cigarette smoker is aware of the medical evidence that clearly indicates cigarettes as the cause of cancer and yet the consumer continues to smoke. Nevertheless, the consumer is aware that a moderate smoker substantially increases his chance of an early death.
We can see that the tobacco industries have the power and use their power to shape opinions, behaviors, and actions, in ways that go completely against an individual’s interests in health.For years it was seen that these companies have been completely exempt from our standards of responsibility and accountability when their product causes harm. It should be the right of the individual and consumer to demand that when problems arise the companies be held responsible and accountable for their harmful creation. Time and again, somehow the tobacco industry proves them as remarkable and more evidently successful in finding new ways to evade public health regulations and promote their own death-taking product.It’s clear that they have all means to soil themselves deep into our country and more importantly our pockets. It’s important to realize that in the process of recognizing dangers of the cigarette come the strategies for controlling them. Brandt finally concludes that its clear now that with disappointments and failure in the courtrooms comes the responsibility and more importantly the power in a role society must play that could ultimately decide the future and possibly fate of the tobacco industry.
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