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News Link • WAR: About that War

The War on Medical Freedom


There was a time in American history when scientists were touting the health benefits of certain cigarettes. Medical reports claimed that smoking Chesterfield cigarettes had "no adverse effects," "Philip Morris are scientifically proved far less irritating to the nose and throat," and "Smoking Camels restores and increases [the flow of digestive fluids]."

One advertisement promoted Dr. Batty's asthma cigarettes, which, "Effectively treats: asthma, hay fever, foul breath, all disease of the throat, head colds, canker sours [sic], bronchial irritations."

You—especially if you're a smoker—might be thinking So what? Who cares? They got it wrong.

But imagine if based on that spurious medical information, government agents made a concerted effort to get everyone smoking. Imagine that they launched initiatives backed by the cigarette companies and other lobbyists in unrelated industries to promote 100 percent smokers by an arbitrary year.

Also imagine that certain legislators were using their bully pulpit to intimidate private companies who offered links to websites and books that contradicted the suspect medical consensus on cigarettes. Imagine full-scale censorship of anti-smoking literature.

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