Cover: The Cigarette: A Political History, from Harvard University PressCover: The Cigarette in HARDCOVER

The Cigarette

A Political History

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674241213

Publication Date: 10/02/2019

Academic Trade

400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

21 photos

World

On WBUR (Boston, MA)’s Here & Now, listen to Sarah Milov discuss past efforts by the government to promote American tobacco domestically and around the world—and, in the wake of public health pushback, parallels with today’s debate over vaping:

The untold political story of the most controversial consumer product in American history.

Tobacco is the quintessential American product. From Jamestown to the Marlboro Man, the plant occupied the heart of the nation’s economy and expressed its enduring myths. But today smoking rates have declined and smokers are exiled from many public spaces. The story of tobacco’s fortunes may seem straightforward: science triumphed over our addictive habits and the cynical machinations of tobacco executives. Yet the reality is more complicated. Both the cigarette’s popularity and its eventual decline reflect a parallel course of shifting political priorities. The tobacco industry flourished with the help of the state, but it was the concerted efforts of citizen nonsmokers who organized to fight for their right to clean air that led to its undoing.

After the Great Depression, public officials and organized tobacco farmers worked together to ensure that the government’s regulatory muscle was more often deployed to promote tobacco than to protect the public from its harms. Even as evidence of the cigarette’s connection to cancer grew, medical experts could not convince officials to change their stance. What turned the tide, Sarah Milov argues, was a new kind of politics: a movement for nonsmokers’ rights. Activists and public-interest lawyers took to the courts, the streets, city councils, and boardrooms to argue for smoke-free workplaces and allied with scientists to lobby elected officials.

The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco’s rise and fall, illustrating America’s continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.