The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire: Cigarettes Then and Vaping Now

Dave Randall

Posted on April 8, 2018 20:41

1 user

A half century of progress? As always, there's a caveat.

1968 was a landmark year, a depressing year; twelve months of upheaval that has us all looking back, after half a century, wondering if the dust will ever completely settle. The world has surely changed, and exponentially, but there is an old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

Case in point: a couple of days ago, a plume of white smoke, thick as a cloud, rose slowly out of the driver's side window of the car in front of me. It was as dense as fog, and moved as slowly. I reasoned to myself that since the person in the car couldn't possibly be electing a Pope, they must have been vaping, and heavily. Vaping, the nomenclature for smoking electronic cigarettes, a legal habit with dangers that have yet to be fully defined. One thing we know (and a fact that marijuana enthusiasts will disagree with) is that anything entering the lungs that's not air, is eventually a problem. 

In 2018, an increasing number of teenagers and young adults vape like crazy, sucking on different flavors of e-cigs, belching smoke like refineries. Yes, E-cigs, a product that hasn't had the advantage of advertising over the air, as tobacco had from the dawn of radio until 1971. It struck me, watching e-smoke billow out of that car, obscuring the driver and oncoming traffic, that one of the positives to come out of 1968, and the two years afterward, was the act of congress, signed by President Nixon, that banned cigarette advertising on radio and television. In the tumultuous reality of the late '60s, broadcasting was forced to lose what has been estimated at 7.5% of its ad revenue. And those ads were pretty persuasive.

Some commercials for cigarettes were funny, some had catchy, memorable jingles; others were set in lush, pastoral surroundings that assured us you could take that menthol cigarette out of the country, but it was impossible to take the serene, green, scenic bliss out of the menthol cigarette. 

Tobacco companies took their advertising to print, and with success, but the important work had been initiated on our behalf. It's an act of legislation I'm sure couldn't and wouldn't be passed by today's sitting congress. It sounds pejorative, but rings true. With the cost of campaigning, with the power of lobbies, the political willingness to vote in lock-step rather than for the benefit of lives that might be affected, there is ample reason to believe that tobacco advertising on TV and radio would be pumping out romantic, colorful panaceas about a product that kills. I can almost see Young Sheldon lighting a Camel from his Bunsen Burner. If other issues are any indication, there's no reason to think otherwise.

This, then, is how, for all that has changed since the nightmares of 1968, we have progressed -- but with the specter of new terrors potentially taking their place. We still smell smoke, yet from a different fire.

Dave Randall

Posted on April 8, 2018 20:41

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Cigarette maker Reynolds American says former House Speaker John Boehner, a longtime smoker,...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest