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When Doctors, and Even Santa, Endorsed Tobacco
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times


New York Times, October 6, 2008
Posted: May 10th, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/business/media/07adco.html

People who remember when tobacco advertising was a prominent part of the media landscape ... probably recollect that actors like Barbara Stanwyck and athletes like Mickey Mantle routinely endorsed cigarettes. But how about doctors and other medical professionals, proclaiming the merits of various cigarette brands? Or politicians? Or children? Even Santa Claus? Those images some flabbergasting, even disturbing were also used by Madison Avenue to peddle tobacco products. An exhibit ... in New York presents cigarette ads from the 1920s through the early 1950s in an effort to demonstrate what has changed since then and what may not have. The exhibit is the brainchild of Dr. Robert K. Jackler of the Stanford School of Medicine. The very best artists and copywriters that money could buy would work on cigarette accounts, said Dr. Jackler. This era of over-the-top hucksterism went on for decades, he added, and it was all blatantly false. The genesis of the exhibit was an ad from around 1930 for Lucky Strike cigarettes, which shows a doctor above a headline proclaiming that 20,679 physicians say Luckies are less irritating. The Luckies doctor was joined in Dr. Jacklers collection of about 5,000 ads by scores of scientists and medical professionals doctors, dentists, nurses making statements that are now known to be patently untrue. Some of the claims being made in the ads, you did not have to be a scientist in a laboratory to dispute ... ads that smoking certain brands does not cause bad breath or can never stain your teeth.

Note: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) promoted cigarette ads for 20 years "after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were used by physicians in practice." Will people, even highly respected members of society, bend the truth and even lie when paid enough? This article seems to answer that with a resounding yes. Is that still true today? For excerpts from many highly revealing articles showing it's as true now as ever, click here and here.


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