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by Elishea
Last updated 8 years ago

Human Anatomy

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The successful end of World War II for the Allied Forces preceded a sense of prosperity and accomplishment in Canada. Popular Canadian cigarette companies of the "Golden Age" included Black Cat, Players, and Du Maurier.

The Golden Age of Smoking

Tobacco Industry Research Committee

26¢ - 30¢

average cost of a carton of cigarettes 3

(TIRC) in 1954 in response to the rising concerns of health care professionals. The TIRC provided "scientific research" that supported the health benefits of cigarettes and launched several new products "that promised 'healthier' smoke" which included the marketing of filtered cigaretes. 2

Only a minority of medical professionals had begun to question cigarettes and publically advertise their suspicion regarding the health issues allegedly associated with the use of tobacco products. Major tobacco industries thus developed the Tobacco Industry Research Committee


The 1950's

Approximately 50% of Canadians aged 15 and older were smoking by 1945(click graph to enlarge) 5

Provincial Regulations of Tobacco

Most popular (American) cigarette brands in 1950 9


Provincial regulations on the production and distribution of tobacco and advertisements were minimal to virtually non-existent; inturn, tobacco companies quickly became powerful and profitable. Advertisements promoting the beneficial qualities of cigarettes were common and mass media portrayed smoking as glamorous and highly fashionable. 9

Donna's Story

Click for more 1950's advertisements :

© Put Out Offensive Fumes 2012

Smoking had already been a common occurence in many children's cartoons and other motion pictures.

Donna was 22 years old in 1950 and had been smoking for 4 years. She worked as an office secretary in Toronto, Ontario. As the youngest member of the staff she took up smoking to feel more accepted by the people with whom she worked. She even described how she would practice smoking at home so she would appear to be a ‘natural’ smoker at work. Smoking was a social norm. “It was the thing to do,” Donna explained, “you were the unusual one if you didn’t smoke.” 1

Key Message:During the "Golden Age", smoking was accepted as a social norm by the public mass. Industry was limited by few and general regulations resulting in mass marketing and distribution of tobacco products to the public.

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