January 1 - A stand is made against Cigarette Commercials

On this day in 1971, cigarette advertisements were officially banned from American television. This was without question one of the biggest stands taken against cigarette companies and to think that this was implemented nearly 40 years ago is quite amazing. The "Virginia Slims" brand was the last cigarette commerical shown to the public at 11:59PM during a commercial break for the Tonight Show.

Prior to the ban, cigarette companies were featured heavily on both television and radio. Game shows, newscasts, and radio programs were all sponsored by cigarette companies, including America's first ever regular Television News Program, "Camel News Caravan". The newscast was sponsored by Camel Cigarettes and featured an ashtray on the main desk in front of the newscaster.

Canada was a little more tardy to ban cigarette advertisements, as they passed the "Tobacco Products Control Act" in 1988 which prevented cigarette advertisements on Television and Radio and assured that all cigarette packages contained health warnings.

The hit TV show "Mad Men" provides a glimpse of what life was like before the banning of cigarette advertisements and before laws passed that prevented people from lighting up in restaurants and bars.


Jonathan said...

Advocates against smoking should definitely use traditional and online media to create noise and be heard.

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Robert F. Crocker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert F. Crocker said...

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