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Copyright 1993-2003 Gene Borio

Chapter 6

The Twentieth Century--The Rise of the Cigarette

1900-1950: Growing Pains

  • 1900: Brosch experiments with tobacco carcinogenisis on guinea pigs

  • 1900: REGULATION: Washington, Iowa, Tennessee and North Dakota have outlawed the

sale of cigarettes.

  • 1900: CONSUMPTION: 4.4 billion cigarettes are sold this year. The anti-cigarette movement

has destroyed many smaller companies. Buck Duke is selling 9 out of 10 cigarettes in the US.

  • 1900: SCOTUS: US Supreme Court uphold's Tennessee's ban on cigarette sales. One Justice,

repeating a popular notion of the day, says, "there are many [cigarettes] whose tobacco has been mixed with opium or some other drug, and whose wrapper has been saturated in a solution of arsenic.".

  • 1900: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds reluctantly folds his company into Duke's Tobacco Trust

  • 1900: BUSINESS: There are appoximately 300,000 cigar brands on the market

  • 1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "[O]nly Wyoming

and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books, were considering new or tougher anti- cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10).

  • 1901: ENGLAND: END OF AN AGE: QUEEN VICTORIA DIES. Edward VII, the tobacco-

hating queen's son and successor, gathers friends together in a large drawing room at Buckingham Palace. He enters the room with a lit cigar in his hand and announces, "Gentlemen, you may smoke."

  • 1901: ENGLAND: BUSINESS: By royal warrant, Philip Morris & Co., Ltd., is appointed

tobacconist for King Edward VII.

  • 1901: BUSINESS: Duke fuses his Continental Tobacco and American Tobacco companies

into Consolidated Tobacco.

  • 1901: BUSINESS: UK: Duke's Consolidated buys the British Ogden tobacco firm, signalling

a raid on the British industry.

  • 1901-12-10: BUSINESS: UK: Incorporation of The Imperial Tobacco Co. of Great Britain

and Ireland Ltd; Imperial is born. 13 of the largest British tobacco companies, including W.D. &

  • H.

    O. Wills, unite to combat Duke's take-over, and form the Bristol-based Imperial Tobacco Co.

    • 1901: CONSUMPTION: 3.5 billion cigarettes and 6 billion cigars are sold. Four in five

American men smoke at least one cigar a day.

  • 1902: BUSINESS: In an end to the war, Imperial Tobacco (UK) and Buck Duke's American

Tobacco Co. (USA) agree to stay in their own countries, and unite to form a joint venture, the British American Tobacco Company (BAT) to sell both companies' brands abroad.

  • 1902: Philip Morris sets up a corporation on Broad St. in New York to sell its British brands,

including one named "Marlboro, " named after "Great Marlborough Street," site of Philip


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