Monday Open Line

Broadcast advertising saw a major change on this date in 1970 — as President Nixon signed a bill into law prohibiting cigarette advertising on the nation’s airwaves. The ban went into effect on January 1st of the next year — the first major step in the ongoing debate over the public health risk of smoking. Until then, names such as Lucky Strike, Chesterfield and Philip Morris had sponsored some of the most famous shows since the earliest days of broadcasting. In 1970, U.S. tobacco firms made more than 560 billion cigarettes. Today, there remain 102 tobacco-manufacturing firms with annual shipments totaling over $40 billion. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <>.