Wednesday 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 1 of the following 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 103 tobacco product manufacturing establishments employing around 12,000 people, and with annual shipments valued at nearly $37 billion. You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy’ mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.