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Care for a smoke. I say you care for a smoke. What do you say. Do whatever it does if it does doesn't it. If I don't it won't because it can. That's clear enough but if I do and it does suppose it does. I see it the question is does it one man here already say. Smoke question mark a series of programs presenting information on Smoking and Health. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today the final program in the series entitled What's the question.
In 1961 Americans smoke an estimated 490 billion cigarettes and that's not counting Americans living overseas who smoked another 15 billion in 161 Americans within the United States smoked about 21 billion more cigarettes and they'd smoked in the preceding year 960 Americans it appears were smoking more and they were doing so at a time. The first time in tobacco history when there existed a large and growing body of evidence scientific evidence about smoking and health this evidence included in part statistical studies more than 20 of them of different kinds made in different countries in which cigarette smokers develop more lung cancer than did non smokers heavy smokers more than light smokers smokers also showed an increased death rate with heavy
smokers death rates being higher than light smokers light smokers higher than nonsmokers. Chemical analyses of tobacco smoke showing up to contain 16 carcinogens. Agents capable of inducing cancer in laboratory animals. Laboratory experiments in which tobacco tars induced skin cancer in mice altered the cell structure in the lungs of dogs inhibited the normal cleansing action of the cilia in the lungs of cows. Microscopic studies of human lung tissue showing cell changes considered pre-cancerous by many experts to be more common in cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers or pipe and cigar smokers with most changes in the lungs of heavy smokers. Fewest in the lungs of nonsmokers. The evidence further associated smoking with heart disease and other grave illness
still in 1061 Anyway Americans were smoking more. Hadn't Americans heard and they got the word ever to smoke one of those oh you can't be serious haven't you when you want to smoke along to build to the smoke you know. I always take a filler cigarette of COAS along it was cigarette like mine. Not media not your brand field with all the bad stuff on your body and in your mind it's never touched the field. I always take a filter is there right now and put it in the filter holder manto lated. Americans had heard that's the point that kinds of cigarettes they were smoking proved it. There was 490 billion cigarettes there
meant Collen greater length filter tips and recessed white and brown corked and uncorked. And the claims that went with them about fewer tires less nicotine feeling better looking up satisfying the thinking man. The plain old fashioned cigarettes often claiming almost flatly to satisfy those who like to live dangerously. All of this suggested that in the minds of American smokers there burned a certain question. We're going to give me lung cancer or heart disease or maybe kill me. The question still burns. And as many smokers would tell you it's enough to make anyone enjoy smoking less. Nor does it help much that in the summer of
1962 a medical research team reported that smoke drawn through filter cigarettes caused tumors in the skin of mice not so many tumors as did unfiltered smoke. But tumors nonetheless with a kingsize a regular mentholated feel to flush. Oh recessed. I don't suppose they tried taking a filter a cigarette and putting it in a filter holder. More than 10 years have passed since the evidence linking smoking with lung cancer and other grave disease began appearing during those years many young Americans joined the ranks of smokers. Many older people added more years to their smoking histories and all the while that question burning in the back of the mind smoking causes lung cancer. This smoking causes heart disease.
Smoking shortening life. That question does it just may have been the wrong question. At any rate it may not have been the most appropriate question. It was and is indeed the central question in the public debate over smoking and health for the experts the medical researcher the doctor. It's the natural question to ask in the face of the evidence. It may come naturally to to anyone with a special interest in tobacco but does that make it the appropriate and pertinent question for laymen to ask. In the face of this evidence above all is that the question you should ask as you approach the subject of smoking and your health. To illustrate like a situation simpler but perhaps an analogous situation in the year 1854 the city of London England was swept by an epidemic of cholera a dread
disease about which little was known. Suppose you live there then and Suppose someone had said to you young man put down that cup. What do you mean put down this cup. Something wrong with this cup. It's still water in it. If I were you I wouldn't drink it but I'm thirsty. It has been noted by good authority that more cholera has developed among people drinking water from that pump than among people who did not drink water from that pump. Beg pardon. Water in that cup and you may risk coming down with cholera. All right put yourself in that situation given that information what question would have come to your mind this when you're trying to tell me that this water causes cholera more cholera victims drank of this water than the other water did this water give them cholera this water was drunk by more who fell victim to cholera. It's hard to believe that this water causes cholera. My family's been drinking this water for years generations even and I don't know
one who ever got cholera. Does this water really cause cholera. I only know that more who drank water from that but I want to know is does it cause cholera. That question might have been asked by scientists and doctors and supporters of that pump might well have insisted that it was the only question to be asked in the face of the evidence. A great debate might have followed in my opinion after carefully studying the evidence. It can be said that this water causes cholera or Anyway if so why were there color of victims among users of other want to want the water I say it with me. Those people drank right. Yes. How do you write so disease was cholera. Meanwhile there you stood with a cup of suspect water in your hand and Wasn't there another more immediate question before you.
And for that matter before everyone else including the supporters of that Pomp if I may say so young man the question is should you or should you not drink that cup of water. We know now what causes cholera. We can look at the bacterium that causes it under a microscope. We do not have that kind of knowledge of the thing or things that cause lung cancer or heart disease. London's cholera epidemic of 1854 was brought under control 40 years before the bacterium that causes cholera it was isolated. The epidemic was brought under control as a result of statistical evidence which showed that more cholera developed among people using water from a particular pump than among users of water from other pumps. Lung cancer we're told on good authority has been increasing in recent years at near epidemic proportions in the United States Public Health Association estimates that if present
trends continue one million Americans who are now of school age will die of lung cancer before reaching the age of 70. We have on hand numerous statistical studies involving large numbers of men in which lung cancer developed more often among smokers especially cigarette smokers than among nonsmokers. We have also a chemical evidence laboratory tests pathological evidence which further points toward an association possibly a causal connection between smoking and lung cancer. Similar evidence associate smoking with heart disease and other diseases. Both reasonable conclusions from all the evidence on the association between disease and smoking are these. This from a report issued in 1062 by Britain's Royal College of Physicians which concluded in part that cigarette smoking is the most likely cause of the recent worldwide increase in deaths from lung cancer that
it is an important predisposing cause in the development of chronic bronchitis. Smoking may be a contributory factor in cancer of the mouth or pharynx esophagus and bladder. Many other experts in our own country and out of it draw the same or similar conclusions from the evidence. But not all experts believe those conclusions are at the moment warranted. The fact is the final evidence is not in proof to satisfy all the experts is not yet in hand. Meanwhile many Americans are smoking many young Americans are beginning to smoke with the unanswered and unanswerable question always burning in their mind. The public controversy over smoking and health has tended
for a variety of reasons to make this appear to be the one and only question one upon which all other questions turn. If Londoners had reasoned us a century ago a cholera epidemic might have gone unchecked then the evidence that drinkers of water from a particular pump developed more cholera produced or might have two questions. Is it possible that this water causes cholera. Should I or should I not drink this water now. Two separate questions two separate answers not necessarily contingent upon one another. In our time the situation is the same. This is one question to ask in the face of existing evidence regarding smoking and health. Does smoking cause lung cancer and other grave disease. And this is quite another. Should I begin to
smoke now. That is the most immediate question. The one and only question which you can answer to smoke or not to smoke while waiting for final evidence final proof that smoking does or does not cause serious disease. Is it wise or is it risky to commit yourself to a habit not easily broken in a case of existing evidence. Will you smoke now or won't you. That's the question. Smoke is produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters. It's grabbed by Milburn and Elizabeth Carlson music by Don Bigley production like Carlos. This is the end maybe Radio Network.
What's the question?
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program asks the question of whether or not someone should commit to smoking.
Series Description
Series on smoking and health; approved by the American Cancer Society.
Broadcast Date
Public Affairs
Media type
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Composer: Voegeli, Don
Producer: Schmidt, Karl
Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Writer: Carlson, Elizabeth
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-3-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:38
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Chicago: “Smoke?; What's the question?,” 1964-01-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Smoke?; What's the question?.” 1964-01-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Smoke?; What's the question?. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from