March 17, 1993

Tobacco: Biology and Politics

Author Affiliations

by Stanton A. Glantz, 48 pp, with illus, ISBN 0-941539-97-0, paper, $3.95, bulk orders and imprinted orders available, Waco, Tex, HEALTH EDCO/WRS Group, 1992.

JAMA. 1993;269(11):1448. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500110120055

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This educational pamphlet succinctly unites the medical and social components of tobacco. An interesting history of tobacco use will challenge anyone's view of contemporary civilization as progressive, given the relatively short span of recent history during which cigarettes have become the killers of millions. The author explains addiction physiology with chilling clarity and makes the pathophysiology of smoking-induced diseases equally accessible to a wide potential audience. Enhanced by fine color graphics is the discussion of the tobacco industry's advertising campaigns, with such surprising assertions as the ban on television ads being a blow to antismoking forces. The evolution of the antismoking effort to advocacy of nonsmokers' rights is interesting as a political movement per se. The prime audience would seem to include medical students and physicians wishing to educate their patients. The book's own flier suggests "high-school and college students as well as a general audience." Age groups that tend