“Inherently Bad, and Bad Only”: A History of State-Level Regulation of Cigarettes and Smoking in the United States Since the 1880s. Volume 1: An In-Depth National Study Embedding Ultra-Thick Description of a Representative State (Iowa)
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This book lays out empirical and methodological underpinnings for studying the early period of anti-cigarette legislation in the United States by overcoming the lack of primary source-based historical scholarship. Constantly repeating wildly erroneous claims at second, third, and more remote hand, anti-smoking academics and pro-tobacco apologists have fundamentally distorted history, on the one hand by dismissing the early anti-cigarette movement as merely religiously and morally motivated and the legislation it secured as unenforced exercises bereft of historical relevance, and, on the other by absurdly magnifying its achievements. Reconstruction of the national scope of the real course of the passage and repeal of statewide legislative bans on cigarette sales to adults from the late 1880s until 1927 pays special attention to the non-governmental driving forces of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union’s health-based support of and the monopolistic American Tobacco Company’s opposition to such interference with consumer freedom. In this panoramic analysis is embedded ultra-thick description of the enactment, enforcement, and repeal processes in Iowa as a representative state. In order to present the full sweep of tobacco control regulation, the narrative continues into the present, under the new circumstances of a mass movement and monolithic scientific warnings of secondhand smoke exposure’s lethality, by capturing the shift in focus to anti-public smoking legislation—which had, ironically, originated just as sales ban repeals were spreading in the wake of World War I—again using developments in Iowa, interpretatively enriched by interviews with numerous legislative, executive, administrative, and nongovermental actors, as a sequence of microcosms.
Smoking, State Law, Tobacco industry, Cigarettes, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Tobacco Trust
© 2012 Marc Linder
Linder, Marc. “Inherently Bad, and Bad Only”: A History of State-Level Regulation of Cigarettes and Smoking in the United States Since the 1880s. Volume 1: An In-Depth National Study Embedding Ultra-Thick Description of a Representative State (Iowa). Iowa City: 2012.