How did the tobacco companies get you hooked?

How did the tobacco companies get you started?

You may believe that you chose to smoke and that your addiction to cigarettes is entirely of your own making but the tobacco industry used many techniques to get you to try their products. They knew that if they could get you to get started then they would get you hooked.

The tobacco industry has spent billions getting and keeping people addicted to cigarettes.

Cigarettes have been with us since 1880’s, prior to that people smoked pipes and before the 1500’s not a single European had ever smoked a cigarette because tobacco was only found in the Americas and it had remained unknown to traders.


War is used to promote smoking

During the First World War, whilst men and boys were scared and desperate, the tobacco industries promoted smoking heavily so much so that there was a cigarette ration for troops and also there was a gift sent by Princess Mary to everyone of the British troops which included a small pack of cigs. By the end of the war many men returned scarred by the war and addicted to smoking.

By the end of this war most men and many women, over 80%, smoked cigarettes.

How did Tobacco companies give smoking such a favourable image?


Tobacco companies from there on in did everything they could to keep the nation and the globe smoking.

Movie Actors were paid to be seen smoking. (Even Ronald Reagen is seen on posters promoting cigarettes). Cigarettes were used by cinemas to imply that a character was brave, bad or had just had a sex. Lead actors were often seen smoking in films, especially action films like war films, thrillers and westerns.

Doctors were paid to endorse smoking and even said that smoking was good for healthy lungs.

Start them young.


Cigarettes were sold individually to allow kids to buy them with there pocket money.

To train kids up cigarette sweets in mock cartons were sold to get them to pretend to be “grown up” by pretend smoking and kids were seen on foggy days pretending they were smoking.

Cigarettes had sugar and flavours added as kids like sweet tastes.

Tobacco industries sponsored sporting action and tough activities to emphasise how healthy smoking was.

Tobacco industries paid politicians to block any anti smoking legislation or any legislation which made smoking seem unhealthy.

Student Unions had pro smoking groups paid for by tobacco industries to prevent the banning of smoking in their buildings.

Cigarettes used to be given out free in pubs by promotions girls who targeted men.

Big Lies to get you smoking

Tobacco Industries own research showed smoking caused cancer, especially lung cancer. For Fifty Years they lied about this and continued to promote smoking as a healthy activity. (Eventually this lead to a huge lawsuit, but despite lying the US govt protected the industry by putting a maximum amount that they would have to pay in compensation so they could carry on selling tobacco products profitably).


As you think you chose to smoke be aware that  a huge industry that has lied, and corrupted the media, politicians and even promoted its products to toddlers in order to convince them that they are the ones who have chosen to smoke instead of realising the sophisticated brainwashing which has created so many smokers in the last 140 years.

Long term images keep us addicted.


The tobacco industry continues to influence how we see tobacco. Despite the changes old films are still being shown which continue to imply tobacco is strong and manly. Movies still have cigarettes and cigar smoking characters who are powerful. Rarely are smokers seen on screen with emphysema, cancer or even a poor cough.

As you question who got you smoking, use all the tools available to help you quit as even today the tobacco industry is just as keen to keep you smoking.

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