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Cigarette Smoking in American Society

Cigarette smoking has been marginalized in American society for some time. The process began with the Surgeon General's Report in the 1960s, followed by laws removing cigarette commercials from television. The program continues to this day with further efforts to eliminate smoking from restaurants, the workplace, and other public sites, and to prevent young people from taking up smoking in the first place. One of the most recent efforts has been an Executive Order signed by President Clinton to limit tobacco advertising in any form aimed at teens and to set other limits on the industry. This proposal has been published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is soliciting public comments before the order is implemented and before Congress takes up legislation either implementing this order or attacking it, which may depend on the outcome of the coming election. An analysis of the issues raised points to some of the elements involved, what the changes will mean, and what forces are being marshaled to challenge the FDA changes. THE U.S. AND SMOKING

American society has changed in its attitude toward smoking, and the government started the process of change by banning cigarette advertising on television, after being prodded to do so by medical evidence of the harm caused by smoking. As Calfee (1986) notes, more recently the government has been asked to ban all cigarette advertising in magazine and billboard form. Calfee believes that such a ban is counter-productive and that indeed the earlier regulations on cigarette advertising have actually reduced health messages that were once part of the advertising. This misses the point that the ban had less to do with the message than with sending a new message--smoking is in itself a bad thing. American society has apparently taken this message to heart and has shifted from a culture of smoking to a culture of non-smoking in only two decades or so. Governmental pressure co...

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Cigarette Smoking in American Society. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:50, April 26, 2019, from