Collection: Medical Authority
In the first half of the twentieth century, tobacco companies wielded medical authority in their advertisements to attract customers and, later, to placate a worried public. In particular, popular faith in medicine was exploited by a series of tobacco industry-sponsored “research” and “surveys.” For example, in an ad from 1943, Philip Morris offered “full reports in medical journals from men high in their profession” upon request, and claimed that there was “scientific proof” that their brand was “far less irritating” than other leading brands. At the time, little of today’s cynicism existed concerning the abilities of science to overcome societal problems. Instead, the doctor was seen as the ultimate expert, and science was seen as the ultimate solution.