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October 16, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(3):226. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130160100024

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If the metric system is ever to be adopted officially by this country, it will not happen as a result of the efforts of the several scientific groups which have been proposing it for some time. It will come instead in a more or less serendipitous manner from quite another group: the tobacco companies. Until a few weeks ago only a scientist knew how long 100 mm was; now it is a household phrase. No, it is not 3.937 inches. As any school-boy knows by now, it is the length of the newest cigarette, the one that gives you more for your money.

It strikes us that the tobacco companies promoting the 100-mm cigarettes are being rather irresponsible about the whole matter of smoking and health. If they were truly dedicated to finding a "safer" cigarette, would they have introduced the new "longs" and given them the provocative promotional campaign