"When smoking first became popular we were told it was healthy, it was heavily
marketed (including to young people) as being cool, and the time it took for us
to learn otherwise was long, and came too late for many. Unfortunately, it
seems history is repeating itself with vaping.
Before the invention of machines to make cigarettes, they were hand-rolled –
with an experienced roller making around 240 cigarettes an hour. When
mechanisation arrived in the late nineteenth century, early machines could make
12,000 per hour. Eventually, they could churn out 1.2 million an hour.
This made smoking immensely affordable, accessible to those on even meagre
incomes. These machines would go on to become perhaps the worst development in
public health history.
Combined with mass cigarette advertising, including the infamous 1940s “More
doctors smoke Camel than any other cigarette” which successfully distracted the
population from early concerns about harm, cheap cigarettes saw smoking
prevalence skyrocket globally.
Two in three long-term smokers died from their addiction.
Ever since, governments have been struggling to introduce potent controls on
Big Tobacco. The World Health Organization’s 2003 Framework Convention on
Tobacco Control has an entire section devoted to ways of minimising industry
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics