- Audience- America’s top and most successful engineers
- Place to publish- letter?
- Kairos- TBD
- Claim- cigarettes are devastating things and need to be rid from the country (why haven’t they been already?)
- ***Snapchat has yet to be incorporated***
Did you know that the leading preventable cause of death could be found in pretty much any high school bathroom in the 1970s?
When, Why, and How Cigarettes?
Smoking tobacco has been a common activity in America since the 17th century, but the cigarette was manifested in 1865 when a wise North Carolinian decided that he would roll cigarettes and sell them to others for profit. Quickly, dominate companies emerged and large factories were built. The cigarette had been commercialized. At the time, cigarette smoking was known widely as something that only soldiers did; however, companies boosted the public’s interest in cigarettes by promoting cartophily, which is the act of trading cards from cigarette packaging with other individuals who also smoke. The idea was that in order for people to partake in cartophily, they must be smokers.
Society is Socialized
A Look at the Social Effects of this Phenomenon
Late in the 1950s, smoking climbed to the peak of the social ladder. Popular figures in the media used their platforms to consciously or unconsciously (who knows?) glamorize and popularize cigarette smoking. Famous faces of the cinema like James Dean and Humphrey Bogart, whom young men idolized, were always captured with cigarette in hand. Resultantly, every normal dude wanted cigarettes for himself. Audrey Hepburn engaged the civic in smoking by elevating the status of it, making it look sophisticated. Rather than weighting down her wrist with a hefty and cumbersome pipe, a woman could don the slim and convenient cigarette. At the turning point of the decade, nearly HALF of American adults smoked cigarettes. Advertising had reached an entirely new level when cigarette companies began associating smoking with things that today we would find preposterous, like intelligence and health improvement. The companies would produce advertising methods that framed cigarette smoking as an activity that doctors partake in across the nation. These large companies manipulated the civic’s gullibility to irrationally assume that smoking cigarettes would propel them to a new level of intelligence and success. Other advertisements claimed that cigarettes could cure your cough or sore throats, but we now know of smoking’s adverse effects. It’s likely that if you viewed an advertisement for cigarettes today, you’d laugh at the absurdity of the content. But keep in mind that back in the 50s and 60s, plain folk were unaware of the propaganda techniques that were in use. Rather than questioning an artifact’s ethos, they were much more likely to believe anything that they read. However, the widespread use of cigarettes occurred due to more than just advertising via posters. Popular music contained references to cigarettes as well. Otis Redding, in his 1966 hit, “Cigarettes and Coffee,” sings the following lyric.
“I would love to have another drink of coffee now / And please, darling, help me smoke this one more cigarette now / I don’t want no cream and sugar ‘Cause I’ve got you, now darling”
Redding describes coffee and cigarettes as daily needs, and he even personifies the cigarette by calling it “darling.” According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, it was pretty much impossible for an American to avoid advertising for cigarettes in 1967. Due to this overwhelming flooding of advertising and propaganda within the media, cigarettes became a commonplace within 1960s American culture. Smoking was cool- so if you wanted to be cool, you needed to smoke.
Losing Loved Ones
Addressing the Issue with Our Friends and Family
Undoubtedly, there is more to the social scene of cigarettes than can be seen by the public eye. Smoking tears apart homes behind closed doors. While the smoker’s body is dependently tied to the nicotine in a way that mimics an non divorceable marriage, the smoker’s family is feeling the effects of the cigarettes just as aggressively. According to a 21st century study conducted by Doctor John Spangler, the addiction to cigarettes can be passed on through generations. It was shown that even if the smoker quits before having kids, children of smokers (past and present) are up to 29% more likely to be cigarette users.
Secondhand smoke is a common issue, and families want to address and remove the cigarettes while they have the opportunity to do so. Family members have been diagnosed with lung cancer before even if they’ve never touched a cigarette with their hands before; but they touched them with their lungs, and that’s enough. But have you ever heard of thirdhand smoke? Thirdhand smoke is a newer discovery in which the leftover toxins of the cigarettes find their way across homes and embed themselves into carpets and wood furnishings (even window sills.) These carcinogens are SO strong, however, that they cannot be removed by cleaning. Cigarette chemicals stubbornly engrave not only the lives of the users, but also now their houses, too. This means that a cigarette-obsesses grandfather who dies before meeting his granddaughter will be spreading these carcinogens to her from the moment she is born if she lives in the same home.
Family members constantly try to deter their loved ones from persisting with the terrible habit of smoking, but oftentimes, their cries and pleads of help are not received well. In extreme scenarios, an individual will address their smoking loved one with a statement like this- “It’s me or the cigarettes.” Far too many times, the cigarettes win. I, however, was fortunate enough to have a positive experience with eliminating the use of cigarettes. On March 30, 2008, I was nine and my little brother, Matty, was turning two! For his birthday, he asked my dad to please stop smoking. He had seen an image from a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, in which a man who loved cigarettes was depicted to be deteriorating physically. Matty told my dad that he doesn’t want my dad to look like the cartoon drawing and that he doesn’t want him to die… That was the day when my father smoked his last cigarette.
We, the People, Fight Cigarette Use
Rules and Regulations Regarding the Cigarette
For a long time, cigarettes were not regulated by America’s Food and Drug Administration. In 2008, however, President Obama took a stride to eliminate the cigarettes by enacting the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Under this legislation, the FDA was given a role of authority in regulating the marketing and manufacturing methods of these cigarette corporate giants. Resultantly, cigarette advertisements were weakened and the display of health concerns on cigarette packaging was strengthened. Unfortunately, the changes have not been reported to have a dramatic influence on cigarette users.
What’s more, we’ve all seen the anti-smoking commercials. Many of them explicitly illustrate a body being destroyed by cigarettes, and they’re direct enough to call out smokers. “This is what your future of your lungs looks like,” or “This is how you’ll die.” Even these though, are not enough to stop the use of cigarettes in the country.
Well, it seems like we’ve done all that we can do, right? If the government has implemented revisions and those downright terrible commercials don’t do the trick…how will we ever eliminate the presence of cigarettes in our society? I call to you (yes, you) to brainstorm a solution that eradicates cigarette usage. If anyone in this nation can spark this change, I know it’s one of you all.