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Why Were Minors Smoking Before 1964?

Posted on 16th April, 2021

by Legal Staff

Before 1964, approximately 42% of the population of the United States was smoking tobacco, as companies were advertising cigarettes as being healthy.

Moreover, the report on Smoking and Health of the Advisory Committee of the Surgeon General Luther Terry began raising awareness on the dangers of smoking.

So, cigarette advertising policies became stricter and displayed information on the dangers of smoking.

However, before 1964, numerous people were engaging in this unhealthy habit, as they were led to believe that cigarettes were actually good for their health.

Some of the most outrageous health reasons for smoking cigarettes invoked by tobacco manufacturers were the following:

  • cigarettes provide relief for a sore throat
  • tobacco smoking can reduce coughing
  • cigarettes help women lose weight
  • tobacco smoking protects the voice
  • cigarettes help with digestion
  • tobacco smoking protects your teeth

Every day in the United States, approximately 1,600 minors smoke their first cigarette. According to a report from 2020, up to 85% of high school students and 74% of middle school students had used tobacco products in the past 30 days.

This shows that, even though smoking has decreased from nearly 21% to 14% in 2019, minors are still engaging in this destructive habit, as they are the most vulnerable demographic in this regard.

If this trend continues, 5.6 million youths who are currently younger than 18 will lose their lives prematurely during their adulthood due to tobacco smoking.

Nevertheless, before 1964, even more children and teenagers were smoking, as tobacco manufacturers were aggressively pushing their dangerous products on the market and young people were even more tempted to try smoking.

Why Are Minors Tempted to Smoke?

There are numerous reasons why young people are willing to try smoking their first cigarette. Although the majority of people are now aware of the terrible and life-threatening health effects of tobacco smoking, children and teenagers are still tempted to smoke, as they are more impulsive and more careless regarding their health.

Furthermore, they often downplay the health consequences of smoking or believe that they can quit any time they want, but the truth may be that they are already addicted to nicotine, which will make it very challenging and difficult for them to eventually quit smoking.

The following are the most common reasons why minors begin smoking:

  • their parents are smokers
  • peer pressure, as their friends may encourage them to try smoking and to keep engaging in this habit on a regular basis
  • they view smoking as a way of rebelling and of showing independence
  • they believe that if everyone around them is smoking they should do the same
  • tobacco companies use clever marketing strategies to pursue more and more children and teenagers to try smoking
  • if they live in a state where the price of cigarettes is not very high, they may be tempted to continue smoking, as they can afford it
  • they are tempted to try new things on a regular basis, including cigarettes, but rarely think of the long-term consequences of their actions
  • they eventually become addicted to nicotine, which provides them with a feel-good sensation every time they light up a cigarette

Because tobacco companies design their marketing campaigns to portray smokers as cool, sexy, independent, fun, attractive and living on the edge, these images appeal to numerous children and teenagers. As a consequence, they try smoking and fail to understand that they can become addicted after smoking as few as 100 cigarettes.

Only 5% of high school students who are smokers think they will still be smoking 5 years after graduation, but they do not understand how demanding quitting can be. According to research, after 8 years, 75% of these smokers will still be using tobacco.

File a Tobacco Claim with the Help of Our Team of Professionals

With over 35 years of experience in evaluating personal injury and product liability claims, the team of experts at Atraxia Law will thoroughly assess your situation.

We will eventually let you know whether you are entitled to financial compensation for your diagnosis.

If you began smoking before 1964 as a minor and developed any of the following diseases as a consequence of smoking, you may be eligible for compensation from the liable cigarette manufacturers whose cigarettes you smoked:

If you are, we will subsequently guide you to a specialized attorney so that you can receive the money you qualify for.