Facts About Smoking

– History of cigarette smoking –

History of Smoking Tobacco in America

600 – 900 AD
Drawings/Carvings of the Mayan Indians of Mexico indicates their tobacco use. It is said that the Mayans regularly made offerings to the Gods using tobacco as incense, which was burned on the altars.
The first of the American settlers in Jamestown, Virginia grew Tobacco as a cash crop

The first crop grown for money in North America was Tobacco.

The first commercial cigarettes were produced by a gentleman called Washington Duke. His cigarettes were cultivated on his 300-acre farm in Raleigh, North Carolina and then hand rolled and sold to the soldiers at the end of the civil war.
An inventoHistory of Smoking Cigarettes – Duke Durham Cigarettesr by the name of James Bonsack invented a cigarette-making machine. It had the ability to produce 120,000 cigarettes in one day. Partnering up with Washington Duke’s son, James Duke, the gentleman built a factory, producing 10 million cigarettes in their first year of business. Five years later, production went up to they one billion cigarettes. These were officially the very first brand of cigarettes which they packaged with baseball cards naming them Duke of Durham. James “Buck” Duke and his father Washington Duke started the United States first tobacco company – American Tobacco Company. American Tobacco Company was the largest and most successful tobacco company in the United States until the 1900’s.old-box2

Philip Morris company introduced their Marlboro Brand.

World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45)

Free cigarettes were being distributed to overseas soldiers every day. In the USA, production was increasing steadily and cigarettes were starting to be marketed to women.

The ‘Cork Tip’ filter was originally invented by Hungarian inventor Boris Aivaz
Viceroy Cigarette becomes the world’s 1st cork-tipped filter cigarette.
Production grew to 300 billion a year. 75% of all cigarettes produced were for the service men. The Wars brought in steady business for the Tobacco Industry.
Kent brand of cigarettes used crocidolite asbestos as part of their cigarette filters, a known active carcinogen.
Surgeon General of the U.S. (the chief doctor for the country) wrote a report about the dangers of cigarette smoking. He said that the nicotine and tar in cigarettes cause lung cancer.

Congress of the U.S. passed the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. This act ensured that every cigarette pack would have a warning label on its side declaring “Cigarettes may be hazardous to your health.”

President Nixon signed the law that placed warning labels on cigarettes alongside banning television ads for cigarettes.
January 1, 1971
Last day TV cigarette advertising aired

Congress passed the “Comprehensive Smoking Education Act”. This law required cigarette companies to alter their warning labels on cigarette packs every three months.

Public Law 98-474, “Comprehensive Smoking Education Act, 1984”

Reference: Smoking Tobacco & Health, Centers for Disease Control

Federal, state, local governments, and private companies all restricted public cigarette smoking to defined smoking areas.
Restrictions for smoking on airlines. No smoking on airplane flights in the U.S. that which are six hours or less.


Visiting Indonesian fishermen introduced the indigenous communities to Tobacco smoking.
British patterns of tobacco use were transported to Australia. Among convicts, free settlers, and officers the smoking of tobacco was popular.

Tobacco was an essential commodity that was used regularly and issued to prisoners, servants, conditionally released convicts as a motivator to work or withheld as punishment.

Pipe smoking was the most common means of tobacco consumption in the nineteenth century.

In the First World War, 60% of tobacco was donated to the Allies on the Western Front. These arrived as rations in the form of cigarettes.

The 1920s

brought female smoking into the open, following this advertising began to target women.

By the end of the war, more than 1/4 of Australian women were smokers. ¾ of Australian adult males were smokers.

By the 2nd half of the 1900’s confirmation of tobacco use and its dangers were widely known and publicized. Regardless, female smoking still continued to increase and peaked at 1/3 of the Australian female population by the mid-1970s.

Cigarette Sales = At $400 billion globally, it’s one of the world’s largest industries.


Direct cigarette advertising on TV/radio phases out over three years.

43 % Australian men are active smokers, as are 33 % of women.
34 % Australian men are active smoker, as are 28 % of women.
Cigarette advertising banned in locally produced newspapers and magazines.
Billboards and outdoor illuminated advertising of cigarettes is banned.
Laws passed removing sponsorship exemptions.
24 % Australian men smoke, as do 21 % of women.
New, anti-smoking ads go to air.
Indoor smoking bans
Banning of smoking in cars carrying children.
Smoking in pubs / clubs banned throughout all Australian states. Tobacco excise increased by 25 per cent.
*Sourced from Quit Victoria and Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues, compiled by Cancer Council Victoria.