Your Doctor Wants You to Smoke

vintage smoking posters

Doctor on Call
O.K., hindsight is 20/20, and when this ad was created in 1946, the link to lung cancer wasn't totally set in stone. But the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Robert Jackler, not incidentally the chair of the department of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine, still thinks it egregious. "The ads were intended to reassure a worried public about a product even known back then as 'coughin' nails,' " he says. What's more reassuring than the small-town doctor? "The response of the organized medical community was to do nothing, because the ads showed doctors looking wise," adds Jackler. (Note the unintended irony in "Camels: Costlier Tobaccos.")

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