Episode

5/5 The Cigarette: A Political History w/ Sarah Milov

May 5, 2020

Sam hosts historian Sarah Milov to discuss her latest book, The Cigarette: A Political History. Milov and Sam walk through tobacco’s role in American culture and the government’s role in developing the cigarette market. From WWI to FDR’s New Deal and the Marshall plan, tobacco (and cigarettes) played a principal role in American politics, economic growth, and war efforts. The turning point for tobacco’s relationship to the federal government was the Surgeon General’s 1964, which cited the dangers of smoking, including the rise of lung cancer. Milov and Sam walk through the gradually growing protest against the tobacco lobby, including their fight against television advertising, the Fairness Doctrine, and antismoking advocacy like GASP. Sam and Milov also discuss the cultural conflict between unions, workers’ rights, and smokers’ rights. What killed the cigarette was a combination of non-smoker entitlement to public spaces and workplace cost-centered restrictions that ended up reducing smoking numbers and drove smoking to the margins and mostly affected the impoverished.  

And in the Fun Half: polling Democrats after Biden denies Tara Reade allegations, Sam and Brian Kilmeade agree for the first time, Kellyanne Conway says the House will waste Fauci’s time, Laura Ingraham is now a pro-death epidemiologist, Matt Gaetz wants police departments to stop using Chinese drones–how about all police drones, Q-fan John Ratcliffe’s DNI confirmation hearing, plus you IMs!

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