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The History of Cigarettes
1900: LEGISLATION: Washington, Iowa, Tennessee and North Dakota
have outlawed the sale of cheap cigarettes.
1900: STATISTICS: 4.4 billion discount cigarettes are sold this year. The anit-cigarette movement has destroyed many smaller companies. Buck Duke is selling 9 out of 10 cigarettes in the US.
1900: US Supreme Court uphold's Tennessee's ban on cheap cigarette sales. One Justice, repeating a popular notion of the day, says, "there are many [cigarettes] whose tobacco has been mixed with opium or some other drug, and whose wrapper has been saturated in a solution of arsenic.".
1901: 3.5 billion cigarettes smoked; 6 billion cigars sold
1902: Philip Morris sets up a corporation in New York to sell its cigarettes brands, including one named "Marlboro cigarettes."
1902: BUSINESS: ENGLAND: King Albert, long a fan of Philip Morris, Ltd., appoints the Bond St. boutique royal tobacconist.(The begin of Bond cigarettes)
1904: BUSINESS: Cigarette coupons first used as "come ons" for a new chain of cheap cigarettes stores.
1904: BUSINESS: Duke forms the American Tobacco Co. by the merger of 2 subsidiaries, Consolidated and American & Continental. The only form of tobacco Duke does not control is cigars--the form with the most prestige.
1904: New York CIty. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says
1904: Kentucky tobacco farmers form a violent "protective association" to protect themselves against rapacious tactics of large manufacturers, mostly the Duke combine. They destroy tobacco factories, crops, and even murder other planters. Disbanded in 1915.
1905: POLITICS: Indiana legislature bribery attempt is exposed, leading to passage of total cigarette ban
1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smoking cigarettes. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do."
1908: CANADA: LEGISLATION: The Tobacco Restraint Act passed. Bans sales of sigarettes to those under 16; never enforced.
1909: 15 states have passed legislation banning the sale of cigarettes.
1909: SPORTS: Baseball great Honus Wagner orders American Tobacco Company take his picture off their "Sweet Caporal" cigarette packs, fearing they would lead children to smoke cigarettes. The shortage makes the Honus Wagner card the most valuable of all time, worth close to $500,000.
1910: TAXES: Federal tax revenues from tobacco products are $58 million, 13% from buy cigarettes.
1910: THE STATE OF TOBACCO: Per capita consumption: 138/year. Because of the heavy use of the inexpensive cigarette by immigrants, New York still accounts for 25% of all cigarette sales. The New York Times editorializes praises the Non Smokers Protective League, saying anything that could be done to allay "the general and indiscriminate smoke of cheap cigarettes in public places." (RK)
1912: BUSINESS: Newly freed Liggett & Myers (L&M cigarettes) introduces "Chesterfield" discount brand cigarettes, with the slogan: They do satisfy
1912: SINKING OF THE TITANIC Men in tuxedos are observed smoking cheap cigarettes as they await their fate. (RK)
1913: BUSINESS: Birth of the "modern" cigarette: RJ Reynolds introduces Camel cigarettes
1915: BUSINESS: Liggett & Myers reconstitutes Chesterfield buy Cigarettes in the Camel cigarettes mode;
1916: BUSINESS: To compete with the phenomenal success of RJR's cheap Camel cigarettes, American introduces Lucky Strike cigarettes.
1917: BUSINESS: American Tobacco unleashes an ad campaign for Lucky Strike cigarettes aimed at women: "Avoid that future shadow," warns one ad, comparing ladies' jowls.
1917-18: WORLD WAR I Cigarette rations determined by market share, a great boost to buy Camel cigarettes, which had over a third of the domestic market.
Virtually an entire generation return from the war addicted to discount cigarettes.
Those opposed to sending cigarettes to the doughboys are accused of being traitors. According to General John J. Pershing:
1918: Frederick J. Pack publishes his "Tobaco and Human Efficiency," the most comprehensive compilation of anti-cigarette opinion to date. (RK)
1919: BUSINESS: George Whelan Tobacco Products picks up tiny Philip Morris & Company, Ltd. Inc, including PM's brands Cambridge cigarettes, Oxford Blues buy cigarettes, English Ovals discount cigarettes, Players cheap cigarettes, and Marlboro Cigarettes
1919: BUSINESS: Manufactured cigarettes surpass smoking tobacco in poundage of tobacco consumed. (RK)
1921: BUSINESS: RJR spends $8 million in advertising, mostly on Camel Cigarettes; inaugurates the "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel Cigarettes" slogan. (RK)
1921: Iowa becomes first state to add its own discount cigarette tax (2 cents a pack) onto federal excise levy (6 cents).(RK)
1922: BUSINESS: Manufactured cheap cigarettes surpass plug in poundage of tobacco consumed to become US's highest grossing tobacco product. (RK)
1922: OPINION: "Is There a Cheap Cigaretes War Coming?" in Atlantic magazine says, "scientific truth" has found "that the claims of those who inveigh aginst tobacco are wholy without foundation has been proved time and again by famous chemists, physicians, toxicologists, physiologists, and experts of every nation and clime." (RK)
1923: BUSINESS: Camel Cigarettes has 45% of the US market.
1923: BUSINESS: Camel Cigarettes has over 40% of the US market.
1924: STATISTICS: 73 billion cigarettes sold in US
1924: BUSINESS: Philip Morris introduces Marlboro Cigarettes , a women's cigarette that is "Mild as May"
1925: HEALTH: Lung cancer death rate is 1.7 per 100,000 (US Census Bureau)(RK).
1925: BUSINESS: Both Percival Hill and Buck Duke die by end of the year; Duke was 69. George Washington Hill becomes President of American Tobacco Co. Becomes known for creating the slogans, "Reach for a Lucky" and "With men who know tobacco best, it's Lucky Strike cheap Cigarettes two to one"
1926: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard introduces Old Gold discount cigarettes with expensive campaigns. John Held Flappers, Petty girls, comic-strip style illustrations and "Not a Cough in a Carload" helped the brand capture 7% of the market by 1930 with cheap cigarettes.
1926: BUSINESS: Lloyd (Spud) Hughes' menthol Spud Brand and recipe sold to Axton-Fisher Tobacco Co., which markets it nationally.
1926: BUSINESS: ADVERTISING: Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield buy cigarettes targets women for second-hand smoke in "Blow some my way" ad.
1927: LEGISLATION: Kansas is the last state to drop its ban on cheap cigarette sales.
1927: BUSINESS: British American Tobacco (BATCo) acquires Brown & Williamson, and introduces the 15-cent-pack Raleigh cigarettes. Raleigh soon reintroduces the concept of discount cigarettes coupons for merchandise.
1927: ADVERTISING: Lucky Strike cigarettes target women A sensation is created when George Washington Hill aims Lucky Strike cigarettes advertising campaign at women for the first time, using testimonials from female movie stars and singers. Soon Lucky Strike cigarettes has 38% of the American market. Smoking initiation rates among adolescent females triple between 1925-1935.
1929-Spring: ADVERTISING: Edward Bernays mounts a "freedom march" of smoking debutantes/fashion models who walk down Fifth Avenue during the Easter parade dressed as Statues of Liberty and holding aloft their discount cigarettes as "torches of freedom."
1929: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys a factory in Richmond, Virginia, and finally begins manufacturing its own buy cigarettes.
1930: BRAND CONSUMPTION:
RANK BRAND BILLIONS SOLD
1 Lucky Strike cigarettes Regulars 43.2 billion
2 Camel Cigarettes 35.3
3 Chesterfield discount Cigarettes Regulars 26.4 billion
4 Old Gold Cheap Cigarettes Regulars 8.5 billion
5 Raleigh buy Cigarettes 85s 0.2 billion
1930: TAXES: Federal tax revenues from tobacco products are over $500 million, 80% from cheap cigarettes.
1930: BUSINESS: The successors of the Tobacco Trust, led by RJ Reynolds, hike discount cigarette prices (at the beginning of the Depression), leaving a perfect opening for Philip Morris, Brown & Williamson, and other small manufacturers to counter with low-priced brands..
1931-06: Cheap Cigarette Price Wars begin. Cigs sold for 14 cents a pack, 2-for-27 cents in the depths of the depression. Even with cheap leaf prices and manufacturing costs, and with "Luckies" advancing, RJReynolds President S. Clay Williams ups "Camel cigarettes" prices a penny a pack. Others follow suit. The major TCs are seen as greedy opportunists. Dime-a-pack discount cigarettes eat into the majors' market share, taking as much as 20% of the market in 1932; PM releases "Paul Jones" discount brand. In 1933, TCs lower prices. Discounts maintain 11% of the market for the rest of the 30s (RK)
1931: Parliament cigarettes features the first commercial cheap cigarette filter tip: a wad of cotton, soaked in caustic soda.
1933: BUSINESS: B&W introduce a menthol buy cigarette, Kool, to compete with Axton-Fisher's Spud, the only other mentholated brand.
1933: BUSINESS: Philip Morris resuscitates and revitalizes its Philip Morris as a tony, but only premium-priced ("Now only 15 cents") "English Blend" cheap cigarettes brand.
1933: ADVERTISING: Page boy Johnny Roventini is discovered in the New Yorker hotel and soon becomes the world's first living trademark, his distinctive voice making the famous, "Call for Philip Morris."
1936: BUSINESS: B&W introduces Viceroy buy cigarettes, the first serious brand to feature a discount cigarette filter of cellulose acetate. (RK)
1936: BUSINESS Viceroy cheap cigarettes introduces a cellulose buy cigarette filter that it claimed removed half the particles in smoke.
1936: BUSINESS: RJR discontinues Red Camel cigarettes brand
1937: BUSINESS: By the end of the year, Camel cigarettes are outselling Lucky Strike cigarettes and Chesterfield online cigarettes by about 40%. (RK)
1938: MEDIA: Consumer Reports rates 36 cheap cigarette brands.
CR notes that Philip Morris lays "great stress in their advertising upon their substitution of glycol for glycerin. The aura of science surrounding their 'proofs' that this makes a less irritating smoke, does not convince many toxicologists that they were valid. Of the many irritating combustion products in online cigarette smoke, the modification of one has probably little more than a psychological effect in reducing irritation felt by the smoker." In blindfold tests, finds little to distinguish brands Knocks "the obvious bias of online cigarette manufacturers, as well as of the 'scientists' whm they directly or indirectly subsidize." Rates nicotine content, finding:
Chesterfield: 2.3 mg nicotine Marlboro: 2.3 mg nicotine Philip Morris: 2.2 mg nicotine Old Gold: 2.0 mg nicotine Camel: 1.9 mg nicotine Lucky Strike: 1.4 mg nicotine(RK)
1939: BUSINESS: ATC introduces "king size" Pall Mall cigarettes. With Pall Mall cigarettes and Lucky Strike cigarettes, American will rule the 40s.
1940: CONSUMPTION: Adult Americans smoke 2,558 online cigarettes per capita a year, nearly twice the consumption of 1930.
1940: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE BY COMPANY:
1. RJR 2. ATC 3. Liggett & Myers 4. Brown & Williamson 5. Philip Morris (7%)
1940: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE BY BRAND:
1. Camel Cigarettes (RJR) (24%) 2. Lucky Strike Cigarettes(ATC) (22.6%) 3. Chesterfield online Cigarettes (18%) -- Combined 10 cent brands (12%) 4. Raleigh Cheap Cigarettes (B&W) (5.1%) 5. Old Gold Discount Cigarettes(3%) 5. Pall Mall Cigarettes(PM) (2%)
1942: BUSINESS: Lucky Strike uses the dye shortage to change its package from green to white. It's slogan: "Lucky Strike Cigarettes green has gone to war."
1942: LITIGATION: 17-year-old Rose Cipollone begins smoking Chesterfields online Cigarettes .
1942: ADVERTISING: Brown and Williamson claims that Kools Cheap Cigarettes would keep the head clear and/or give extra protection against colds.
1943-07: GERMANY: LEGISLATION: a law is passed forbidding tobacco use in public places by anyone under 18 years of age.
1945: GERMANY: Discount Cigarettes are the unofficial currency. Value: 50 cents each
1947: CULTURE: "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (Buy Cigarette)," Written by Merle Travis for Tex Williams, is national hit. The lyric "Puff, Puff, Puff, And if you smoke yourself to death" is later used in Cipollone case as defense that Rose Cipollone knew Cheap Cigarettes were dangerous.
1947: LITIGATION: Grady Carter begins smoking Lucky Strike sigarettes
1949: STATISTICS: 44-47% of all adult Americans smoke; over 50% of men, and about 33% of women.
Twentieth Century--The Rise of the cheap Cigarette
1950 + : The Battle is Joined
When the decade begins, 2% of Cheap Cigarettes are filter tip; by 1960, 50% of Discount Cigarettes are filter tips.
1950: BRAND CONSUMPTION:
RANK BRAND BILLIONS SOLD
1 Camel Cigarettes 98.2 billion
2 Lucky Strike Cigarettes Regulars 82.5 billion
3 Chesterfield online Cigarettes Regulars 66.1 billion
4 Commander Cheap Cigarettes 39.9 billion
5 Old Gold Discount Cigarettes Regulars 19.5 billion
1950: MEDIA: TV pop-music series "Your Hit Parade" starts its 7-year-run; one of the first hits on TV; it is sponsored by Lucky Strike Cigarettes.
1950: ADVERTISING: Lucky Strike Cigarettes "Be Happy, Go Lucky" wins TV Guide's commercial of the year. (Cheerleaders sing: "Yes, Luckies get our loudest cheers on campus and on dates. With college gals and college guys a Lucky really rates.")
1950: STATISTICS: American discount cigarette consumption is 10 Buy Cigarettes per capita, which equals over a pack a day for smokers..
In the May 27, 1950 issue of JAMA, Morton Levin publishes first major study definitively linking smoking to lung cancer. In the same issue, "Tobacco Smoking as a Possible Etiologic Factor in Bronchiogenic Carcinoma: A Study of 684 Proved Cases," by Ernst L. Wynder and Evarts A. Graham of the United States, found that 96.5% of lung cancer patients interviewed were moderate heavy-to-chain-smokers. In the Sept. 30, 1950 British Medical Journal, a study by Richard Doll and Bradford Hill found that heavy smokers were fifty times as likely as nonsmokers to contract lung cancer.
1951: BUSINESS: RJR introduces its filter Winston cigarettes tip brand, emphasizing taste.
1952: USA: Federal Trade Commission slaps Philip Morris on wrist concerning claims about Di-Gl reducing irritation. (LB)
1952: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard introduces Kent cigarettes, with the "Micronite" cheap cigarette filter. At the press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Lorillard boasted that the "Micronite" filter offered "the greatest health protection in cigarette history." Its secret: asbestos.
1952: BUSINESS: Hollingsworth & Vose gets 100% indemnity agreement from Lorillard on cheapest cigarettes filters.
1953-12-15: Tobacco executives meet (for first time since price-fixing scandal of 1939) to find a way to deal with recent scientific data pointing to the health hazards of Discount Cigarettes. Participants included John Hill of Hill & Knowlton, and the following tobacco company presidents: Paul D. Hahn (ATC), O. Parker McComas (PM), Joseph F. Cullman (B&H), J. Whitney Peterson, U.S. Tobacco Co.
1954: LITIGATION: First tobacco liability suit, Pritchard vs. Liggett & Myers (dropped by plaintiff 12 years later).
1954: LITIGATION: Philip Morris hires David R. Hardy to defend the company against a lawsuit brought by a Missouri smoker who had lost his larynx to cancer. This case was the beginning of PM's association with Shook, Hardy & Bacon. The case was won in 1962; the jury deliberated one hour
1954-01-04: BUSINESS: Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC) announced in a nationwide 2-page ad, A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers
The ads were placed in 448 newspapers across the nation, reaching a circulation of 43,245,000 in 258 cities.
TIRC's first scientific director noted cancer scientist Dr. Clarence Cook Little, former head of the National Cancer Institute (soon to become the American Cancer Society). Little's life work lay in the genetic origins of cancer; he tended to disregard environmental factors.
1954-04: BUSINESS: TIRC releases A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy, a booklet quoting 36 scientists questioning smoking's link to health problems.
(The booklet) was sent to 176,800 doctors, general practitioners and specialists . . . (plus) deans of medical and dental colleges . . . a press distribution of 15,000 . . . 114 key publishers and media heads . . . . days in advance, key press, network, wire services and columnist contacts were alerted by phone and in person . . . and . . . hand-delivered (with) special placement to media in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. The story was carried by hundreds of papers and radio stations throughout the country . . . . staff-written stories (were) developed with the help of Hill & Knowlton, Inc. field offices. (Hill & Knowlton memo, May 3, 1954.)
1954: BUSINESS: ¬¬RJR intorduces its Winston filter cigarettes tips brand, emphasizing taste, not health.
1954: BUSINESS: ¬¬Philip Morris buys Benson & Hedges, and in the bargain gets its president, Joseph Cullman III
1954: ADVERTISING: Marlboro Cowboy created for Philip Morris by Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett. "Delivers the Goods on Flavor" ran the slogan in newspaper ads. Design of the campaign credited to John Landry of PM. At the time Marlboro cigarettes had one quarter of 1% of the American market.
1955: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: American Tobacco is still #1 in US, with 33% of the market. Philip Morris is sixth.
1955: LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone, now 30, switches from Chesterfield cigarettes to L&Ms cigarettes .)
1956: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard discontinues use of "Micronite" filter in its Kent cigarettes.
1956: BUSINESS: RJR's Salem cigarettes , the first filter-tipped menthol buy cigarette is introduced
--NYT, April 7, 1988; Advertising; RJR Flap Not the First In Cigarette Ad History By Philip H. Dougherty
1957: REGULATION: Pope Pius Xii suggests that the Jesuit order give up smoking.
There were only 33,000 jesuits in the world at that point, so the industry was not worried about losing this handful of smokers. They feared that the Pope or other church leaders might ask, as a magazine headline once put it, "When are Cigs a Sin?"--E. Whelan, "A Smoking Gun"
1957: REGULATION: Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act is amended. The manufacturer must bear the burden of demonstrating the product is safe and effective. Products previously on the market, those "generally recognized among experts as safe," or "natural constituents of food" are exempt.
1957-03-01: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: At the cooperative British tobacco industry Tobacco Research Council laboratory at Harrogate, an internal report by Batco refers to cancer by the code name, zephyr: "As a result of several statistical surveys, the idea has arisen that there is a causal relation between zephyr and tobacco smoking, particularly cigarette smoking,"
1959-11: HEALTH: Dr Burney publishes an article in JAMA confirming the position of the Public Health Service on Discount Cigarettes' causitive relation to lung cancer.
By now, the distribution of free cigarettes at annual medical and public health meetings has stopped.
1962: STATISTICS: Per-capita consumption of Cheap Cigarettes stands at 12 per day among adult Americans
1963:: LITIGATION: KC, MO. Local, 20-lawyer firm, Shook Hardy Bacon, wins John Ross case (filed in 1954) for Philip Morris. SHB goes on to become virtually synonymous with tobacco litigation.
1963:: BUSINESS: PM dispenses with tattooed sailors, et. al., and settles on the cowboy as the sole avatar of the Marlboro Man
1963-07-17: LITIGATION: B&W's General Counsel Addison Yeaman writes in a memo, "Moreover, nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug effective in the release of stress mechanisms." Yeaman was concerned about the upcoming Surgeon General's report, and was writing of "the so-called 'beneficial effects of nicotine': 1) enhancing effect on the pituitary-adrenal response to stress; 2) regulation of body weight."
1963:: INDONESIA: PT Hanjaya Mandala (HM) Sampoerna is established
1964-01-11: 1st Surgeon General's Report: Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service
1964:: LITIGATION: 17 tobacco liability suits are filed
1964: BUSINESS: Marlboro Country ad campaign is launched. "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro Country." Marlboro sales begin growing at 10% a year.
1964-02-07: The American Medical Assn accepts a $10 million grant for tobacco research from six cigaret companies.
1964-03-19: Rep. Frank Thompson Jr. (D-NJ) charges that the American Medical Assn has entered into a deal with tobacco-state congressmen to gain their votes against Medicare.
1965-08-01: UK: TV buy cigarette ads are taken off the air
1965: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: American's share of the market sank from 35% in 1965 to 17.8% in 1971. By 1978 they were down to 12%.
1965: LEGISLATION: Congress passes the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requiring the Surgeon General's Warnings on cheap cigarette packs.
1966: Congress votes to send 600 million Discount Cigarettes to flood disaster victims in India
1966-01-01: Health warnings on cheap cigarette packs begin
1966: BUSINESS: RJR's filter-tip Winston cigarettes becomes top-selling buy cigarette in the US The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Public Health Service Review
1967: FCC applies TV Fairness Doctrine to Cheap Cigarettes ads
1968. BUSINESS: Philip Morris introduces Virginia Slims brand, aimed at women
1968. LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone, now 43, switches from L&M Cigarettes to Virginia Slims Cigarettes and Parliaments Cigarettes.
1968. BUSINESS: 'Bravo', the attempt to create a non-tobacco based (lettuce based) cigarette, fails (World Tobacco, 1968, p1) (LB)
1969: SUPREME COURT: U.S. Supreme Court applies the Fairness Doctrine to cigarettes, giving tobacco control groups "equal time" on the air to reply to tobacco commercials
1969: 4th Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking: 1969 Supplement to the 1967 Public Health Service Review Confirms link between maternal smoking and low birth weight
1969: REGULATION: FCC issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ban cigarette ads on TV and radio. Discussions, both in Congress and in private between legislators and tobacco companies, result in cigarette advertisers agreeing to stop advertising on the air in return for a delay in controls on the sale of cigarettes.
1969: BUSINESS: Philip Morris gains a controlling interest in the Miller Brewing Company (nee 1855), then only the 7th largest brewery.
1969. BUSINESS: American Tobacco drops "tobacco" from parent; American Brands, Inc. established with headquarters in Old Greenwich, CT, as parent company of American Tobacco Co.
1969. BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds Tobacco drops "tobacco."
1969. MOTOR SPORTS: WINSTON CUP racing is born when NASCAR driver Junion Johnson suggests to RJR they sponsor not just a car, but the whole show.
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