‘Smoke Without Fear’: The industry strikes back

“Reports linking the death rate from cancer with cigarette smoking were ridiculed this week by Donald C. Cooley, author of  ‘Smoke Without Fear,’ a 32-page booklet published by True Magazine.

“Cooley, managing editor of Your Health and Your Life magazines, has one piece of advice to persons who enjoy smoking and who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to give up the habit — quit trying.

“Cooley pointed out that consumption of cigarettes in the United States has increased 456 percent since 1920, and lung cancer deaths in men have increased 411 per cent since 1930.

“A graph, he adds, would show cigarette smoking and lung cancer deaths shooting up at the same frightening rate.

” ‘However,’ Cooley said, ‘you can make a similar chart showing that the cost of living has increased in about the same proportion as has male lung cancer. A debater might argue that four times as many men now have cancer because coffee now costs $1.20 a pound, as against 30 cents in 1930.’

“By the same token, he pointed out, life expectancy has risen with the increased use of cigarettes.”

— From Billboard magazine, September 18, 1954

Donald C. Cooley is actually Donald G. Cooley, otherwise best known as author of  “The New Way to Eat and Get Slim” (1941) and founding editor of the magazine that would become Mechanix Illustrated.

tobacco.org reprints Cooley’s sophistic booklet , which was the brainchild of Hill & Knowlton, the industry’s PR factory.

 

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