SBJ/November 17 - 23, 2003/SBJ In Depth

History of cigarettes

1913

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. introduces Camel brand, considered the first "modern" cigarette.

1917-18

Gen. John J. Pershing says during World War I, "You ask me what I need to win this war. I answer 'tobacco as much as bullets.'"

1919

Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, dies at age 68.

1921

RJR spends $8 million in advertising, mostly on Camel, and inaugurates the "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel" slogan.

1930

Camel claims 31 percent of U.S. market share, down roughly 10 percent.

1931

Cigarette maker Parliament introduces the first commercial filter tip.

1939-45

Cigarettes are included in GIs' C rations during World War II.

1940

Camel is the top-selling brand, with 24 percent of the U.S. market share.

1950

Camel is the top-selling brand.

1951

RJR introduces the Winston filter-tipped brand.

1962

Per capita consumption of cigarettes is 21 per day among adult Americans.

1965

Congress passes the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requiring the surgeon general's warnings on cigarette packages. The warnings began appearing Jan. 1, 1966.

1966

Winston becomes the top-selling cigarette in the United States.

1969

The Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 passes, as tobacco companies agree to stop advertising on the air.

1970

The surgeon general's warning label is amended to say "Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health."

1971

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco becomes R.J. Reynolds Industries.

The Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 goes into effect, costing the broadcast industry $220 million.

1973

RJR senior scientist Frank Colby writes a memo suggesting that the company "develop a new RJR youth-appeal brand" based on 1950s-style cigarettes, which "delivered more 'enjoyment' or 'kicks.'"

1975

The U.S. military stops distribution of cigarettes in troop rations.

Philip Morris' Marlboro overtakes Winston as the best-selling brand in the United States.

1983

Philip Morris overtakes RJR to become the top-selling tobacco company in the United States.

1987

Joe Camel makes his debut.

1990

The Winston brand is still the No. 2 brand but now trails No. 1 Marlboro nearly 3-to-1 (Marlboro 134.43 billion cigarettes sold to 45.81 billion).

1995

The Marlboro brand climbs to 43 percent market share, its highest ever.

1997

The Joe Camel campaign is ended.

1998

Multistate Master Settlement Agreement restricts advertising and brand sponsorships of, among other things, sports properties, venues and events. The tobacco industry is instructed to start anti-smoking campaigns.

Texas becomes the third state to settle a lawsuit against the tobacco industry, accepting at least $14 billion over 25 years to reimburse the state for Medicaid money it spent treating smokers. Minnesota, Florida and Mississippi sign similar agreements with the industry.

2002

U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Food and Drug Administration cannot regulate tobacco as a drug.

2003

Philip Morris loses a $10 billion verdict in a lawsuit filed over the company's use of the word "light" to promote cigarettes. RJR faces a similar lawsuit.

Source: SportsBusiness Journal research

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