Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 18, 1954

"Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette:" The Downward Trend

C. M. Rhodes, San Diego, California

For the first time in twenty years, volume is off in cigarette sales; and all this comes in the face of rip-roaring promotion of filter-type cigarettes and king-size brands. It is suspected that the scary reports about the ill effects from excessive smoking are causing smokers to cut down. Also cigarette makers think that a clean-up and tone-down of some of the ads, and perhaps a price cut are overdue.

This has no bearing on some folks, because from where many sit, they have read so much about the bad effects of smoking that they have decided to give up reading.

It is quite evident however that the vigorous debate on whether smoking is harmful and in what way, is having influence on John Q. Public even though it is admitted that people are affected differently by tobacco smoking.

The recent full-page newspaper advertising of fourteen of the largest tobacco companies show that they are quite worried over the reports on experiments that smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer in human beings. Doctors of professional standing making the experiments report that tobacco tar induces mouse cancer and that in human beings cancer is four times more common in smokers than in the freak (the non-smoker). With the increase of smoking, cancer has also ascended in proportion.

We might easily understand the economic interest the cigarette companies have in this trend by their powerful advertising claims and schemes, for the cigarette represents billions of dollars in sales and advertising. The very fact that most companies are now including the extra length (king-size) to screen out irritants and the filters for the same reason is testimony that irritants are in the pack. Have you noted the television commercials: "LESS throat irritation due to smoking ... (our brand)." In other words, our cigarettes are not as bad as others. Another states, "No adverse effects noted in the throat, nose and sinuses . . ." Nothing was stated as to the adverse effects to the lungs. These are but samples to encourage us to "walk a mile for a Camel." As someone has suggested, we'd have to WALK the mile because we probably couldn't run it after having finished the last pack. Ask any athlete. No tobacco company claims its cigarettes strengthens the muscles, improves. the "wind" or does anything else to improve health.

State tax reports show Connecticut to have had the nation's highest per capita cigarette consumption during 1962. The average amounted to 3,775 cigarettes, or a fraction more than 188 packages for EVERY PERSON over 15. The average American spends $100 per year on tobacco. Of course this cost is not nearly so great as the cost on the average eight-gallon liquor consumer costing an estimated $313.60 each year but did you know that the 5100 is almost three times the amount of the average annual contribution of the 91 million on the church rolls in our nation?

These women smokers — well, I'll not mention them because it would force me to admit prejudice by my being born thirty years too soon but, remember back in the "old days" when women were jealous of the cigarette and when men would apologize for smoking in their presence and ask if it were objectionable ? Today, well, it has that sophisticated look, all trimmed with lipstick and ready for elite society.

Fanatic on this? I think not. Anyway, here's my hopes that this may serve as food for your thought. In reality the "Downward Trend" is an UPWARD TREND for our nation. If you "just gotta have another cigarette," you might do well to fall in line with this drift and whittle yourself down to about 187 packs a year? ? ?