CHAPTER 5

The War on Tobacco

What chance does a grassroots antismoking campaign really have against the sophisticated, sleek communications, and moneyed coffers of big tobacco companies? Smoking is seductive, ritualistic, and social. Characters chain smoke contemplatively in 1960s’ French New Wave cinema. Rough and tumble iconic smokers graced American television and film for years. Cigarettes practically sell themselves. As BR, the fictional tobacco salesman shouts in the movie Thank You for Smoking, “We don’t sell Tic Tacs, we sell cigarettes. And they’re cool, available, and addictive! The job is almost done for us!” (Thank You for Smoking quotes 2015).

Beyond the smoke and mirrors of big tobacco’s glamor stands a grim reality: each year, ...

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