Regulation of the Cigarette Industry

November 24, 1967

Report Outline
Steps Towards Federal Regulation
Indicated Dangers of Cigarette Smoking
Difficult Task of Reducing Smoking
Special Focus

Steps Towards Federal Regulation

Federal Trade Comminssion Recommendations

More americans are smoking every year—undeterred by a growing-mass of medical evidence indicating that the cigarette habit may impair their health and shorten their lives. During 1967, according to the Department of Agriculture, the people of this country have been smoking cigarettes at a rate of 551 billion a year, an average of around 215 packs for every person 18 years of age or older. Cigarettes consumed this year will number about 11 billion more than last year.

At the same time, the American Cancer Society reports that the death rate for lung cancer is soaring—up 55 per cent for males and 46 per cent for females in the past decade—and it attributes the increase to heavier smoking. Projections made recently by the National Cancer Institute for the use of hospital planners and insurance underwriters indicate that by the end of the century lung cancer may cause 125,000 deaths a year compared to fewer than 50,000 now. And a Public Health Service report issued July 12, 1967, titled The Health Consequences of Smoking, implicated smoking as a factor also in chronic bronchitis, emphysema and coronary heart disease. Surgeon General William H. Stewart said last Oct. 2 that the connection between smoking and health was no longer debatable: “The debate now is what we do about it.”

The tobacco industry nevertheless continues to find the connection between smoking and disease highly debatable. The industry's position was voiced June 3, 1967, by John D. Palmer, president of Tobacco Associates. “So far,” he said, “not one human being, despite the millions of dollars spent by the government and tobacco companies, can be proved to have died from cigarette smoking.” Such questioning of health data notwithstanding, the focus of the controversy has shifted toward regulation of the industry.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Smoking and the Tobacco Industry
May 10, 2019  E-Cigarette Dilemma
Sep. 19, 2014  E-Cigarettes
Dec. 10, 2004  Tobacco Industry Updated
Nov. 12, 1999  Closing In on Tobacco
Dec. 01, 1995  Teens and Tobacco
Sep. 30, 1994  Regulating Tobacco
Dec. 04, 1992  Crackdown on Smoking
Sep. 21, 1990  Tobacco Industry: on the Defensive, but Still Strong
Mar. 24, 1989  Who Smokes, Who Starts—and Why
Oct. 05, 1984  Tobacco Under Siege
Jan. 21, 1977  Anti-Smoking Campaign
Nov. 24, 1967  Regulation of the Cigarette Industry
Nov. 14, 1962  Smoking and Health
Regulation and Deregulation