Date: 1932
Brand: Camel
Manufacturer: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Campaign: Nurses
Theme: Doctors Smoking
Keywords: Female, Nurse, Fresh, Natural, Toasted
Quote: You like them fresh? So do I?

Comment: Freshness was also commonly used as kind of code-word for healthfulness. Slogans used in tobacco ads called to mind the cool of ice or the fresh healing virtues of springtime mountain pastures. Kool and other menthol brands were also supposed to deliver a kind of hospital-like sense of sanitary safety, and one company implied cleanliness in its very name. Sano cigarettes didn t last very long: they didn t deliver as much in the way of tar or nicotine as more popular brands and their marketing skill lagged behind that of the bigger players. By contrast, menthol brands grew in popularity after the postwar health scare, and many other forms of health reassurance were offered (space-age filters of myriad sorts, promises of low-tar and/or nicotine deliveries, eventually lights, etc.).


Along with doctors and dentists, nurses presented yet another health professional that had the potential to reassure consumers worried about the ill health effects of smoking. The none-too-subtle message was that if the nurse, with all of her expertise and her dedication to helping patients, chose to smoke a particular brand of cigarettes or even recommended a particular brand, then it must be safe.

As women began taking up the habit of smoking during the early 20th century, so did nurses in large numbers. It is interesting to note, however, that whereas the number of doctors who smoked plummeted drastically in the 1950s and 1960s when conclusive data linked smoking to lung cancer, smoking remained common among nurses. To this day, smoking is more prevalent among nurses than doctors in the United States. The Nurses Health Study shows that 8.4% of nurses smoked in 2003, whereas comparable data from 2005 from the Association of Medical Colleges reveals that only 1% of doctors smoke (1).

1. Nurses Health Study shows nurses smoke more than doctors. Nursing Times. 26 Nov 2008. .

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