Shifting cultural attitudes towards smoking - Essay Example

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Shifting cultural attitudes towards smoking

Attitudes towards smoking have undergone considerable changes over the past six decades. In the 1950s, there was minimal, if any, awareness amongst the population regarding the effects of smoking.In fact smoking became a common practice amongst physicians after the World War I. Doctors did not warn people against engaging in smoking, active or passive; some of them were even involved in the promotion of the tobacco industry without disclosing the deleterious nature of smoking (Novella). Advertising companies employed such tactics to make people believe that smoking was not harmful since a large proportion of the doctors smoked. In fact doctors used to recommend patients to smoke to pacify their nerves as exemplified by the advertisements of Camel cigarettes “If you are acting grumpy, then have a smoke and mellow out” (Hoover). Advertisements in the 1940s and 1950s used to reflect the same consumer trend. In one such advertisement, a doctor is questioned “what brand of cigarettes do you smoke, doctor?” (Novella). Novella observes that the 1950s represented a paternalistic relationship between the doctor and the patient. The doctor used to be the final authority and no one used to doubt his judgment. However the 1950s saw a change in the cultural attitudes towards smoking. This change is attributable to the completion of three significant epidemiological studies which concluded a strong relationship between smoking and cancer. ...Show more


Attitudes towards smoking have undergone considerable changes over the past six decades. In the 1950s, there was minimal, if any, awareness amongst the population regarding the effects of smoking.In fact smoking became a common practice amongst physicians after the World War I…
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