Know the Truth About Tobacco- Media Manipulation?

The tobacco industry has used cultural identity, stereotypes and caricatures to market their products around the world. Every walk of life has been targeted in order to manipulate as many human beings as possible to become addicted – no matter the cost.

We will now look at the methods used to make tobacco use look as healthful and glamourous as possible – making tobacco use a “normal” part of everyday life around the globe!

Commercial Tobacco companies have used cultural imagery to appeal to all walks of life.  

“Branding” by way of cultural imagery continues to this day.

Big Tobacco got a Little Help!

Did you know that in 1917 the U.S. Government appropriated funds to add cigarettes to the rations going to soldiers heading oversees to fight World War 1?

It has been said that the mass consumption of American tobacco would not have been possible without this step by the government.  Soldiers that came home from that war became addicted, and in the the years encompassing 1914 – 1920 tobacco consumption jumped from 7% to a whopping 20%!

Here is how tobacco manufacturers capitalized on the momentum through advertising – they slyly connected being “manly” or “macho” with smoking.

World War I

World War II

World War II

World War I

Targeting our Emotions

Tobacco Manufacturers want their customers (smokers) to associate tobacco products to good and pleasant things. They know if we become emotionally attached to a brand or an iconic image, we will loyally spend our money.

Tobacco Advertisers capitalize on our emotions by associating smoking to our favorite Holidays.



Santa Claus


Gift Giving

Smoking and Popular Culture

Back in the day these celebrities were movie stars, musicians,  and singers. They were seen by the public the same as many of today’s rock, hip hop, movie and TV stars.

Today Tobacco Manufactures have to rely on product placement since the false advertising started to become disfavored, due to the mounting evidence of health issues caused by smoking.

Laws were passed as to “Truth in Advertising” before they would stop.

Kirk Douglas

Ronald Reagan

Barbara Stanwick

Lucy and Ricky

Santa Claus!

Richard Widmark

Frank Sanatra

John Wayne

Bing Crosby

James Stewart

Big Tobacco and Your Health

When was tobacco first considered to be dangerous to health?

  • In 1602 an anonymous English author published an essay titled Worke of Chimney Sweepers (sic) which stated that illnesses often seen in chimney sweepers were caused by soot and that tobacco may have similar effects. This was one of the earliest known instances of smoking being linked to ill health.
  • In 1795 Sammuel Thomas von Soemmering of Maine (Germany) reported that he was becoming more aware of cancers of the lip in pipe smokers
  • In 1798 the US physician Benjamin Rush wrote on the medical dangers of tobacco
  • During the 1920s the first medical reports linking smoking to lung cancer began to appear. Many newspaper editors refused to report these findings as they did not want to offend tobacco companies who advertised heavily in the media

As more and more people became addicted to commercial Tobacco products a trend in smoke related health issues began to show in the population.

A series of major medical reports in the 1950s and 1960s confirmed that tobacco caused a range of serious diseases.

Instead of addressing the health issues related to tobacco use, manufacturers began a campaign to show how safe it was using their tobacco products. Hence, blurring the lines between Medical and Media, misleading the public with advertising highlighting medical professionals.


Here are a few examples:





Misleading the public has been a key element in keeping us addicted to commercial tobacco. Advertising campaigns highlighting the health benefits of smoking, knowing full well the data was pointing the other direction!

Here are examples that make the point:


Stay Thin?

Good Digestion?


Throat Issues?

Manipulated by the Media? They wouldn't do that.

or Would They?

Big Tobacco Advertising Methods Still Working? Here is a comparison, You be the judge. 

Then / Now

Then / Now

Then / Now

Then / Now

Due to the overwhelming evidence that using commercial tobacco products was dangerous to the health of those exposed to it, a ban on cigarette advertisements on TV and radio April 1, 1970.

Big Tobacco switched all advertising to Magazines, Newspaper and Billboards pushing their products with full knowledge it was hurting people! Even coming up with more stylish ways for people to become or stay addicted.

Nothing has changed with exception of adding Social Media to their advertising.

Still targeting our young people?

Learning the Truth about Tobacco can affect us deeply.

Since tobacco manufactures have used our Native American Cultures and our Sacred Tobacco as a front to poisoning generations we should reject any and all products coming from such sources. Understanding the Commercial Tobacco Industry’s role in manipulating the masses for hundreds of years empowers us to make good decisions.

Many have expressed their disgust in seeing how Big Tobacco Companies have highjacked “Sacred Tobacco” and created a substance instrumental in killing millions over the years.

One young one stated: “It makes me angry!” another stated:  “I am ashamed I smoke!”

How does it make you feel?

NEXT? Lets look into the reality of long term smoking and the affect it has on our health and the health of those around us.