1950: MEDIA: Lucky Strike's "Be Happy, Go Lucky" wins TV Guide's commercial of the
year. (Cheerleaders sing: "Yes, Luckies get our loudest cheers on campus and on dates. With college gals and college guys a Lucky really rates.")
1950: STATISTICS: American cigarette consumption is 10 cigarettes per capita, which equals
over a pack a day for smokers..
1950: LITIGATION: P. Lorillard Co. v. FTC. Lorillard had launched a national campaign
claiming a 1942 Consumer Reports article showed Old Golds was "lowest in nicotine and tars". While technically true, the point of the article was that differences in tar and nicotine were insignificant when it came to the harmfulness of all cigarettes. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding the FTC's cease-and-desist order, declares that Lorillard's advertising violated the FTC Act because, by printing only a small part of the article, it created an entirely false and misleading impression. "To tell less than the whole truth is a well-known method of deception," the court ruled. (CC) Along with other protracted- FTC censures against tobacco company ad claims of the 30s and 40s, the action was too little too late. The Consumers Union Report on Smoking and the Public Interest (1963) said, "Like astronomers studying stars millions of light years away, the FTC commissioners were constantly coming to conclusions about phenomena that were no longer in existence."
1950: FRANCE: Le Musée d’Intérêt National du Tabac (National Museum of Tobacco) is
1951: Consumers in many countries now spend from 3 to 5 per cent of their total income on
tobacco products, American delegate John B. Hutson tells the World Tobacco Congress. Mr. Hutson, president of Tobacco Associates, Inc., of Washington, D.C., said in a "General Economic Survey" that "the average per capita consumption for all countries has increased slightly during the past 20 years."
1951-10-15: MEDIA: TV series "I Love Lucy" begins its run at 9:00 PM. It is sponsored by
Philip Morris. The animated titles that open the show each week feature stick figures of Lucy and Desi climbing a giant pack of Philip Morris cigarettes. It is the top-rated show for four of its first six full seasons.
1951: BUSINESS: RJR introduces its Winston filter tip brand, emphasizing taste.
1952: UK: "The Great London Smog." 12,000 people are thought to have died from
respiratory disease caused by the pollution. See, "The Big Smoke," at http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/smog/ (U. of London)
1952: USA: Federal Trade Commission slaps Philip Morris on wrist concerning claims about
Di-Gl reducing irritation. (LB)
1952: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard introduces Kent cigarettes, with the "Micronite" filter. At the
press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Lorillard boasted that the "Micronite" filter offered "the greatest health protection in cigarette history." Its secret: asbestos.
1952: ADVERTISING: Lorillard: "Kent and only Kent has the Micronite filter, made of a
pure, dust-free, completely harmless material that is not only effective but so safe that it actually is used to help filter the air in operating rooms of leading hospitals." (Life Magazine)
1952: ADVERTISING: Lorillard: Kent: "No other cigarette approaches such a degree of
health protection and taste satisfaction"
1952: BUSINESS: Hollingsworth & Vose gets 100% indemnity agreement from Lorillard on
1952: ADVERTISING: Liggett & Myers widely publicizes the results of tests run by Arthur
Little, Inc. showing that "smoking Chesterfields would have no adverse effects on the throat,
sinuses or affected organs." The ads run, among other places on the nationally popular Arthur Godfiey radio and television show.
1952-02-06: UK: Heavy smoker King George VI (the current Queen Elizabeth's father) dies
of lung cancer, sparking one of the first major public discussions of lung cancer and smoking in the UK. He became King on the abdication of his elder brother, Edward VIII, in 1936.