Blowing Smoke

For those of you who still believe that corporations always have the best interests of Americans in mind, here’s a nice little something from 1984.

(cough) (cough) Bullshit! (cough) (cough)

The copy:

Second-Hand Smoke:
The Myth
and The Reality.

Many non-smokers are annoyed by cigarette smoke. This is a reality that’s been with us for a long time.

Lately, however, many non-smokers have come to believe that cigarette smoke in the air can actually cause disease.

But, in fact, there is little evidence — and certainly nothing which proves scientifically — that cigarette smoke causes disease in non-smokers.

We know this statement may seem biased. But it is supported by findings and views of independent scientists — including some of the tobacco industry’s biggest critics.

Lawrence Garfinkel of the American Cancer Society, for example. Mr. Garfinkel, who is the Society’s chief statistician, published a study in 1981 covering over 175,000 people, and reported that “passive smoking” had “very little, if any” effect on lung cancer rates among non-smokers.

You may have seen reports stating that in the course of an evening, a non-smoker could breathe in an amount of smoke equivalent to several cigarettes or more.

But a scientific study by the Harvard School of Public Health, conducted in various public places, found that non-smokers might inhale anywhere from 1/1000th to 1/100th of one filter cigarette per hour. At that rate, it would take you at least 4 days to inhale the equivalent of a single cigarette.

Often our own concerns about our health can take an unproven claim and magnify it out of all proportion; so, what begins as a misconception turns into a frightening myth.

Is “second-hand smoke” one of these myths? We hope the information we’ve offered will help you sort out some of the realities.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company


Ad from Time magazine, December 24, 1984

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