Sunday, September 13, 2009

“The Lynch-Mob Philosophy," a 1969 editorial by John W. Campbell about cigarette advertising

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced that they planned to ban all cigarette advertising on radio and TV, as soon as the present law expires. Currently, the law forbids them to carry out any such ban, but as soon as Congress's law expires, they're ready to jump into the act.

Basically, the mood is that of a lynch mob; the mob's decided that Cigarettes Are Guilty, and b'gad they don't need no more evidence, because they already known damn well who’s guilty.

They’ve proved it by showing that cigarette tars, rubbed on a guinea-pig’s belly, will cause cancer. Yes, that’s true -- an amount of tar equivalent to a man smoking about fifty thousand cigarettes a day will, indeed, cause cancer. But my, you’d have to be busy to achieve that -- roughly two thousand cigarettes per hour, day and night. You’d have to use some kind of a multiple holder, so you could consume at least fifty cigarettes at once, and have someone loading spare holders for you because you wouldn’t have time to do all that loading ...
“The Lynch-Mob Philosophy,” a three-page editorial written by
John W. Campbell and published in the July 9, 1969, issue of
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact magazine. Courtesy of the
Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, University of California, San Francisco.

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