More Doctors Smoke Camels

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian, with Andrew Gordon, Systems Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

From the 1930s into the 1950s, medical journals—including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine—ran advertisements for cigarettes.1,2 The New York State Journal of Medicine alone published 600 pages of cigarette advertisements spanning more than two decades, starting in 1933.3 Around the same time, advertising agencies created campaigns featuring physicians; these continued until 1954, as concerns about the negative health effects of smoking grew.2

"How mild can a cigarette be?" Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 240, number 17, April 28, 1949. Click to enlarge.

“How mild can a cigarette be?” Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 240, number 17, April 28, 1949. Click to enlarge.

Presented chronologically below are some of the cigarette advertisements—and one cigarette paraphernalia‎ ad—that appeared in medical journals during the 20-year period. Note especially the 1945 series of ads that ran in several medical journals, including the Medical Woman’s Journal, celebrating the work of war doctors and suggesting that a Camel cigarette could be a welcome break.

Notable, too, is that the earliest ad shown here—printed in Preventive Medicine in 1937—comes from a New York Academy of Medicine publication.

For more information on the history of cigarette advertising, including the use of medical professionals in ads, visit SRITA, Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising.

"Let Your Own Experience Guide You." Published in Preventive Medicine, volume 7, number 1, April 1937. Click to enlarge.

“Let Your Own Experience Guide You.” Published in Preventive Medicine, volume 7, number 1, April 1937. Click to enlarge.

"Look this way for more pleasure." Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 218, number 14, April 7, 1938. Click to enlarge.

“Look this way for more pleasure.” Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 218, number 14, April 7, 1938. Click to enlarge.

"How much do you smoke?" Published in JAMA, volume 12, number 11, March 11, 1944. Click to enlarge.

“How much do you smoke?” Published in JAMA, volume 12, number 11, March 11, 1944. Click to enlarge.

"The Army Doctor's Call to Action!" Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 4, April 1945. Click to enlarge.

“The Army Doctor’s Call to Action!” Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 4, April 1945. Click to enlarge.

Combat Team in White! Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 5, May 1945. Click to enlarge.

Combat Team in White! Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 5, May 1945. Click to enlarge.

"The Flying Capsules." Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 6, June 1945. Click to enlarge.

“The Flying Capsules.” Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 6, June 1945. Click to enlarge.

"Welcome Home, Doctor!" Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 12, December 1945.

“Welcome Home, Doctor!” Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 12, December 1945. Click to enlarge.

"Recommended by Physicians to Patients who are 'Problem Smokers.'" Published in JAMA, volume 133, number 11, March 15, 1947.

“Recommended by Physicians to Patients who are ‘Problem Smokers.'” Published in JAMA, volume 133, number 11, March 15, 1947. Click to enlarge.

"Some questions about filter cigarettes that may have occurred to you, Doctor." Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 53, number 12, June 15, 1953.

“Some questions about filter cigarettes that may have occurred to you, Doctor.” Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 53, number 12, June 15, 1953. Click to enlarge.

"When your patients ask . . . 'Which Cigarette Shall I Choose?'" Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 54, number 12, June 15, 1954. Click to enlarge.

“When your patients ask . . . ‘Which Cigarette Shall I Choose?'” Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 54, number 12, June 15, 1954. Click to enlarge.

References

1. Healy, M. (2011, August 4). Cigarette packages in medical journals: New look for a new age. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-cigarette-packages-medical-20110804,0,7658494.story#axzz2rL60QSQm.

2. Gardner, M. N., & Brandt, A. M. (2006). The Doctors’ Choice Is America’s Choice. American Journal of Public Health, 96(2), 222–232. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470496.

3. Blum, A. (2010). When “More doctors smoked Camels”:  Cigarette advertising in the journal. Social Medicine, 5(2), 114–122. Retrieved from http://www.socialmedicine.info/index.php/socialmedicine/article/view/461/0.

3 thoughts on “More Doctors Smoke Camels

  1. I was aware that ads for smoking (as I was growing up) were linked to doctors in an effort to legitimate this noxious habit. I think the tobacco companies must have known how damaging the habit was, but wanted to cover it up. What “medical” endorsements are currently engaging in the same sort of hypocrisy?
    I have sometimes wondered, though…Could the wide-spread habit of cigarette smoking have contributed to the decrease in TB in our country? Is cigarette smoke so toxic that it kills that otherwise hardy organism?

  2. Pingback: Brighten the Visit With Pepsi | Books, Health and History

  3. Pingback: De cuando los médicos recomendaban fumar cigarrillos | Un Técnico Preocupado

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