America's Smoke Screen-Portion

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America’s Smoke Screen- My Portion (Alice McDowell-Bryant)

This paper will examine the history of the tobacco industry and its advertising campaigns from the 1920s to the present. Some of the issues discussed in this paper will include: What forms of mass communication has tobacco companies used to persuade the public, how changes in technology have influenced the way tobacco companies communicate with target audiences, and how the United States government restrictions affect the current efforts of tobacco companies advertising strategies. Other topics that this paper will expound upon are, the ethics of the tobacco industry’s advertising approaches, how tobacco companies responded to health warnings from the government, and what type of communication models have the tobacco industry used to transmit messages to the public.

Tobacco was first used by the Native people of America. Native Americans cultivated the plant and used it in pipes for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. When Christopher Columbus left America and returned to Europe, he took a few tobacco plants and seeds with him. However, most Europeans didn’t begin to indulge in tobacco use until the 16th century. The first commercial crop was cultivated in Virginia in 1612 by John Rolfe. The growth of tobacco as a cash crop fueled the demand for slave labor in North America. Cigarettes didn't become widely popular in the United States until after the Civil War. (CNN, 2010)

Persuasive Communication Approach:

Over the years, the tobacco industry has used many different communication approaches to persuade the public to use tobacco. Some of the obvious forms of persuasive communication that the tobacco industry has used include print media, radio and, television. However, one of the most persuasive forms of communication that the tobacco industry has used to promote the use of tobacco is within the film industry. In the 1930s and 40s many tobacco companies recruited celebrities to...
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