Date: 1943
Brand: Cavalier
Manufacturer: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Campaign: Nurses
Theme: Doctors Smoking
Keywords: Female, Nurse, Mild, Natural
Quote: We asked nurses to compare Scores and scores of off-duty, New York hospital nurses were asked to compare Cavalier Cigarettes with the brand they had been smoking*82%- just think of it!- 82% of the smokers interviewed said Cavaliers

Comment: This ad uses nurses to promote Cavaliers as the healthier cigarette brand the milder brand. The ad claims that when nurses were asked to compare, 82% of them said Cavaliers are milder than the brand I had been smoking! This statement seems to indicate that at least 82% of nurses smoke cigarettes, whereas the nurses included in the study were all previous smokers. There is no indication as to the total sample size of nurses, either. This ad normalizes cigarette smoking, especially among women and among healthcare workers, by claiming that more nurses smoke Cavaliers.


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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