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From: Michael B.
City: Philadelphia, PA
Comment: Thanks for the display of historic cigarette company advertising on our website. I missed them at CCP when we had them on display here at the college last year. I fortunately never took up smoking. The closest I came was once as a boy, perhaps 11 or 12, I put an unlit, unfiltered cigarette in my mouth. When my tongue touched the raw tobacco at the tip of the cigarette, I found the taste so awful that I never even put another cigarette in my mouth again. Of course, all this was made easier because no one in my family at the time smoked, not even uncles, aunts, or cousins, on either side of my family. And I grew up most of my life in NC, a tobacco state.
From: Christopher C.
Comment: Astonishing Exhibit
I started smoking at 13, and quit at 19. Today, at 58, as I type this, I still have trouble clearing my lungs; the damage was permanent. My father, an inveterate smoker, died of COPD. This is a breathtaking (pun intended) exhibit of the disingenuousness of tobacco advertising - I appreciate the time and effort that went in to this website, and will recommend it to my circle of friends. As well as my rascal son, who, despite listening to his father's hacking and coughing as he was growing up, chose to become a tobacco addict. Grr!
From: Ken H.
Comment: The tobacco industry has so much money and power that they can get away, literally, with murder. They have a very cheaply produced and highly addictive product. They are no longer allowed to advertise in radio or TV, but they have enough power to continue to advertise on all other media. Even in movies you will see a big Marlboro truck pass by. It is a subtle advertisement for which that movie gets paid a lot of money. I think that any product that is proven harmful to health should not be allowed to advertise. The problem is that the industry has so much power that it will make it next to impossible to prove a product harmful to one’s health. I am in favor of one’s right to do whatever they want with their lives, but they do not have the right to impose it on others.
From: Jim L.
Comment: I stumbled upon your website by accident. I am so glad that I did. I am 64 years old and actually remember seeing a number of these ads when I was younger. When I was in high school the coaches admonished us not to smoke and "cut down our wind". A rather abstract concept at the time, and there was absolutely no mention nor understanding of the enormous health risks associated with smoking. But it was the "cool" thing to do for so many of my classmates and friends.
I have never smoked in my life, however I was married to a smoker for over forty years. Your tribute to Marilyn, Jackler referencing her addiction to cigarettes could have described my wife. I have lost several friends to lung cancer. One I will always remember, I visited in the oncology ward at Vanderbilt University Hospital three days before he died. I found him in a stairwell smoking.
I can't say that I "enjoyed" this site, however I will say that it is sadly fascinating, and of course very informative. I am angry for all of the lives that have been needlessly compromised and lost because of the deceit and wrongdoing on the part of the "tobacco industry".
Thank you sir, and all of those associated with this project for this masterful job.
From: Martin V.
Comment: My older brother is a healthy 75 old man, no diabetes, no arthritis, no high blood pressure, no high triglycerides, healthy prostate gland, in other words he should live easily another 30 years, (my grandmother was 105 when she died) except that he has developed chronic emphysema due to a habit of cigarettes smoking for 61 years. I look at him and i keep asking myself the same question over and over again 'why didn't he quit when I asked him to 'twenty years ago when I, an ex-smoker told him about the benefits of quitting before it became too, late. Now even thought he is still in fair health, he has to walk around with an inhaler because his lungs are not capable functioning properly to to this before mentioned disease. Myself have been tobacco free since 1983 when I started coughing at night and had the clarity of mind to realize that my lungs were speaking to me in a suttle way and telling me to quit while I was ahead of the game.Twenty six later my lungs are very healthy and I have no visible damage to my lungs. my word of advice is this to those who are still smoking yet, quit and advice others to do the same, and to those who have never smoke, don't start.
My mother and father smoked. My father died of lung cancer when I was 15. My mother died of a heart attack 3 months later. I was orphaned by the tobacco industry. My husband smoked 3 pack a day for 27 years, although he quit over 10 years ago, he still pays for those years. I wonder how many of my own health problems are a result of being around 2nd hand smoke as a child. I remember leaning over the car seat to get a good whiff of mom's cigarettes in the mornings. I would inhale them deeply. Oh, how I loved the smell of those cigarettes. I was 4 years old.
From: Bonita B.
City: Washington D.C.
Comment: Read about the exhibition in Washington Post.
congrats. I was disappointed that the date and source of each image (e.g. Ladies Home Journal 1923) was not included. Unless I am missing the citations? Also, there seems to be one broken link to larger pic among the Santa ads. You might want to check.
From: Tim R.
Comment: The exhibit is wonderfully scary. It brought back so many memories of my 60's childhood and being in the car with six of my siblings while mom and dad smoked away in the front seat. "Roll down the window if you don't like it" is what I remember them saying when we complained. This undoubtedly led to all of us to learn to smoke during our teen years. I learned the best, having started at 14 or so, then quitting at 45. Quitting after 34 years of smoking heavily was really rather easy. I hadn't tried to quit until i was absolutely sure I could. I took a three step process. Step one: get diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer in left lung. Step two: have lung removed. Step 3: go through four months of intense highly toxic chemotherapy. There - that was easy. On with my life. It's been five years. Oddly, one of my brothers is still smoking cigarettes, two of them have quit and the last brother still chews tobacco. That's the wonderful scary part. Wonderful that my experience could lead two of my brothers to healthier lives and be there for their kids. Scary that two of my brothers still have the twisted thinking patterns that persuades them to continue to smoke. My parents eventually quit smoking when they were in their 50's. That was 25 years ago; they are still here, I'm still here and living well. We all smoked Lucky's.
From: Frank P.
Comment: Of course it seems incredible now that these kinds of advertisements would be so accepted and seem normal to folks. But perhaps 50 years from now people will be amused by ads for bottled water and other products that will soon turn out to be bad for the environment and for people!
This is an awesome exhibit which I am seeing via the web. Thanks!
From: Mary S.
Comment: Dear Prof. Jackler: I've been looking at the site and I love it!!
Thank goodness I never got seriously started (when I was a little kid
my mom smoked, she's since given it up, and when she left a cig
burning in the ashtray to answer the phone I'd sneak a puff. My mom
says it made me cough but I don't remember that; I just remember the
cigs tasted like cr@p and the only impression I got was what pleasure
do people *get* from firing up a roll of dried leaves and sucking in
the hot gases?
My boss (almost 90 years old) has a medical journal in which he published an article nearly 60 years ago; and there's an ad for Philip Morris cigarettes in the journal ('Take a puff of Brand X and a puff of Philip Morris and see for yourself that PMs are less irritating and you can recommend them to your patients who smoke')!
From: William O.
City: Largo, FL
Comment: When I was 13 (1959) my friends & I referred to cigarettes as "coffin nails" & "cancer sticks" (while we smoked !) so I have to wonder where people get this "we didn't know about the health hazards" notion from .... but without question Madison Avenue was supremely successful in their efforts. Another huge influence was tobacco use on television, nearly all of our 'heroes' smoked. Desi & Lucy, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Aurther Godfrey, Jack Paar, Dave Garroway, and on & on & on. Thank you for a wonderful site.
From: Claire S.
City: Shoreline, Washington
Comment: Our family read the New York Times article about the NYPL exhibit with great interest. Our grandfather, Dr. Carl P. Sherwin, was a noted biochemist, co-author of a textbook with Benjamin Harrow. He was also the author of a popular health column in Good Housekeeping in the late 30's and early 40's. While he did not address the subject in his articles, he was an adamant opponent of smoking and opposed placement of tobacco ads in the magazine. As is demonstrated by your exhibit, commercial interests prevailed, and Dr. Sherwin was dismissed as a magazine writer.
Thank you for continuing to keep a light shining on tobacco's sordid past.
From: Zafer Y.
Current Smoker: Yes
Comment: I have been a cigarette smoker for almost 30 years. Now I am 45 years old.
I , like many other people , believe that the milestones of human life are pre-programmed and the details are up to the persons. Birth and death are both major milestones. So, we can not change them. Because they are major milestones, we cannot change the way they happen. So, why shouldn’t I smoke. Millions of people make their livings by growing tobacco. Some other hundreds of thousand people make their livings by working for cigarette factories or selling tobacco. I don’t know how many but lots of people making money by selling anti-smoking products or quit-aids. Additionally, so many social security systems do not pay for smoking related diseases.
I can understand the restrictions on where we are allowed to smoke. Smokers have to be obliged to consider non-smokers. I can understand the bans for insidious commercials and ads for cigarette and other deathly tobacco products.
Almost every single person on earth knows at least the basic facts about smoking. If they are still smoking, please do not ruin their pleasure. Do not interfere with smokers free will. Instead , work for bans to weapons, nuclear weapons, wars , conflicts, hiding clean technologies until the old ones pay back, consuming to much where there are billions around starvation level , diesel engine powered vehicles, big engined cars, extravagance, unnecessary flights, human trade, racism, being excessive-wealthy, unemployment, over employment, hidden employment, illiteracy, every kind of abuse, making ridiculous electronic devices like digital music players or digital picture frames or 12 Mp cameras, all sorts of pollution, hypocritical politicians, bribing, corruption, over population, religion, religious enforcement , borders, false epidemics , making fortunes on false epidemics, selling 10 grams of potato in a 10 grams metal packing, marketing toothpastes which contain chemical agents such as sodium monofluorophosphate ,tetrasodium pyrophosphate, potassium nitrate, strontium chloride, potassium citrate, hydrogen peroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide....
When all of the above problems are solved, I swear I will quit smoking and make 100 other smokers quit .
From: Richard M.
Comment: I came accross the online exhibit of old tobacco exhibits and in restrospect, I found the claims tobacco companies made for cigarettes to be outlandish, even shocking and outrageous! It made me glad that I never started smoking and have lived tobacco-free for my 58 years.
My message to the makers of Lucky Strike is this: L.S./M.F.T--LUCKY STRIKE MEANS FUNERAL TIME! And to Philip Morris: "YOU GET A LOT YOU WON'T LIKE WITH A MARLBORO--TOMBSTONE, COFFIN, BURIAL PLOT! And, US TAREYTON SMOKERS WOULD RATHER DIE THAN QUIT!
From: Tina C.
Comment: My mother and father smoked. My father died of lung cancer when I was 15. My mother died of a heart attack 3 months later. I was orphaned by the tobacco industry. My husband smoked 3 pack a day for 27 years, although he quit over 10 years ago, he still pays for those years. I wonder how many of my own health problems are a result of being around 2nd hand smoke as a child. I remember leaning over the car seat to get a good whiff of mom's cigarettes in the mornings. I would inhale them deeply. Oh, how I loved the smell of those cigarettes. I was 4 years old.
From: Paul G.
Comment: If you are still collecting relevant commentary, and have a venue to forward to Tobacco Company executives, consider the following to publicize:
If it is monetary incentives which continue the growth & processing of tobacco products, even in light of the extreme danger of pervasive tobacco promotions (e.g. today's major motion pictures via product placement strategies), there are other very profitable alternatives for such land use, such as growth of:
= cotton for clothing
= corn for gasohol, food
= other fruits & vegetables for harvesting & export profitably
= wheat, oats, and other grains for food products to export profitably
= simultaneous right-of-way contracts for telecom (cellphone,etc.) towers, and wind-generation towers for lower-priced electricity.
From: Scott S.
Comment: My family has been in the tobacco business (farming or warehouse sales) since the 1700’s. I am the first generation not to be in the “trade” but can’t help but wonder if this country would even exist if not for tobacco. The first settlement disappeared and not much was of use to export other than tobacco – thanks to the Spaniards for creating the market and cigarettes??? Otherwise, we might just be Canada or Virginia. I have always been interested in advertising and the cigarette companies have a really tough time, “How do you convince people that an addictive poison should be bought.” The exhibit answers that question in a fascinating way. The knowledge we have now while viewing the exhibit is eerie and sad. I know some folks develop lung cancer and heart problem without having smoked a cigarette but I also know that our Native American friends used tobacco for ceremonial purposes not as current smokers do today. Of course, they were way ahead of the curve on moderation, conservation and other topics of current interest. Some wonder if nicotine addiction is not their “gift” to the White man given in return for the infected blankets, land theft and other ethnic cleansing techniques used against them.
From: Chris C.
Comment: Congratulations on the wonderful exhibit at the new york public library about tobacco advertising. I am so glad that you put together the exhibit. it's a remarkable collection and a wonderful accomplishment to have the exhibit.
I was back in New York to attend an alumni gathering at Yale and spend a few days in new york. There is another exhibit at the library, on Yaddo, a legendary artists colony in upstate New York. That is a fascinating exhibit that I highly recommend. My artist grandmother was at Yaddo in 1947. I was very pleased to see that two pictures by her are in the exhibit.
Anyway, the main reason for writing was to tell you about my mother, Anne Zabriskie Citron. She was a professional fashion model in new york in the early fifties. She was selected to be a "Tareyton" girl-- she appeared in a series of magazine ads for Tareyton Cigarettes. I have one of the ads. She did not smoke. She was depicted as "beautiful young member of new york and east hampton society". The ads said that discriminating people prefer the taste of tareytons....
I was going to go make a copy of one of the ads to send you. I don't have a scanner. However, in the meanwhile, by happenstance, someone found one electronically, on ebay, I gather..
I will send you a copy of that email, although it's hard to read the print. in the attachment, I think it can be enlarged, but still not that good....
I thought this might interest you. .
I wish I were still in new york for the upcoming talk you were going to give at the library...
Comment: It was pretty cool to hear you on the "Fog Files" this weekend. Incredible "journey" your project has taken. Honored to have been involved :-)
From: Debby J.
Comment: My mom smoked two packs of cigarettes a day from the age of 16 until her death at 43 of atherosclerosis. I guess that means that her family also breathed second-hand smoke for at least half of every year (the winters), having grown up on the east coast.
Was her smoking directly related to such an early death? We'll never know, but I feel it was a contributing factor.
City: Lynchburg, Va.
Current Smoker: no
Comment: I have a site dedicated to classic Hollywood, and we've done a few entries on cigarette advertising over the years, particularly those involving its main subject, Carole Lombard. Just did one on your site (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/499902.html); an earlier one looks into how much money she and other stars received to promote cigarettes (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/260044.html).
As for me, I've never had any interest in smoking -- I tried a cigarette in junior high school and discovered it wasn't for me. (Having asthma in my youth probably also dissuaded me from smoking.)
From: Lorre T.
City: Fairfield, CA
Comment: A powerful testament to how our society was duped into using an addicting substance by glamorizing and proselatizing medicine, sports, acting and many other professions.
Thank you for your efforts and I am sorry for your loss.
City: Louisville, KY
Current Smoker: no
Comment: A quarter of a century ago I wrote the world's first anti-smoking novel: Tail Tigerswallow and the Great Tobacco War. It received many favorable reviews including one from long time anti-tobacco activist Stanton Glantz. The book remains an inspiration for many in the field today. Please contact me for details on this and other examples of my unorthodox crusade against the tobacco industry.
City: Williamsport, PA
Current Smoker: no
Comment: The exhibit is certainly eye-opening. I am 61 years old, never smoked, but have my own demons.... warm bakery items and coca cola! When I browsed through online I immediate thought of my father...Bud Berndt, who was a smoker until about 1958, when he was invited to serve on local, state and federal committees to investigate the dangers of smoking. I remember the long trips and many hours he dedicated to spreading the word about the dangers of smoking. He testified on government panels and became a strong advocate against smoking through the late ‘50’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. Your exhibit shows me that his work was not in vain!