Tobacco has come a long way since the enthusiastic days of overly exaggerated cigarette commercials, smoking cartoon character billboards and just about every television show blatantly highlighting the nonchalant use of a cigarette.
Today, as advanced testing is performed and vital statistics are made available cigarettes are becoming scarce. People are finally privy to the enormous list of toxins being inhaled with each pull from their potential cancer sticks. Still, the fight for a tobacco free country is far in the distance but don’t give up hope just yet, there have been quite a few momentous occasions for us reformed and non-smokers to celebrate. Listed are a few noteworthy, tobacco banishing milestones from the past few decades.
- The Tobacco Restraint Act passed a law in 1908 making it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone less than 16 years of age. The Restraint Act has since been modified to set age requirements to 18 years of age.
- Evidence began to emerge about the effects of smoking during pregnancy during the 1970s.This is also the decade that advertising on television, radio and billboards started to phase out.
- In 1989 the federal government required cigarette manufacturers to make the additives in cigarettes available to the public. Also, an indefinite ban on smoking was imposed on all airlines.
- In August 1994, Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey teamed up with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota and the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi to declare war on the tobacco epidemic. Their unprecedented suit- State of Minnesota v. Philip Morris , alleged a 50 year conspiracy to defraud America of the hazards of smoking, to stifle development of safer cigarettes and to target children as future customers. Deliberation took 15 weeks and ended with a momentous win.
- In 1998 California (Tobacco Free CA) became the first State to make it illegal to smoke cigarettes in a bar, restaurant or any public place. Most States have followed and now have similar restrictions in place.
- Today 42 States restrict smoking near a government building and 20 States restrict smoking on private property.