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January 8, 1992

Manufacturer of 'Death Cigarettes' Says He's Working to Bring About the Death of Smoking

JAMA. 1992;267(2):204-207. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480020014003

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FINALLY there's a cigarette for people who can accept the addictive, carcinogenic, atherogenic, teratogenic, and other toxic effects of smoking—but who just can't tolerate being lied to.

By its very name, the manufacturer of "Death Cigarettes" forthrightly declares what is being sold. No virile cowboys, slim-legged, "liberated" beauties, or supercool camels or penguins endorse this brand. The maker of what appears to be the first antismoking cigarette prefers to fly the Jolly Roger on its packaging and promotional materials.

In case the skull and crossbones isn't a clear enough message, the cigarette maker has added a written warning (in addition to the required US Surgeon General's warning): "MANUFACTURER'S ADVICE: Cigarettes Are Addictive And Debilitating. If You Don't Smoke, Don't Start. If You Smoke, Quit."

"Business is excellent," says Charles Southwood, the founder and owner of Death Tobacco in Venice, Calif, the fledgling company that produces Death Cigarettes. "We are expanding