Profile America: Cigarette Ads Banned


Friday, April 1 — Broadcast advertising was confronted with a major downsizing on this date in 1970 as President Nixon signed a bill into law prohibiting cigarette advertising on the nation’s airwaves. The ban went into effect on January 1 of the following year — the first major step in the ongoing debate over the public health risk of smoking. Until then, names such as Lucky Strike, Chesterfield and Philip Morris had sponsored some of the most famous shows since the earliest days of broadcasting. In 1970, U.S. tobacco firms made more than 560 billion cigarettes. Today, there remain 29 cigarette product manufacturing establishments employing around 7,300 people, and with annual shipments valued at over $31 billion.


Source: Census Bureau

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