during ww2 did the cigarette companies give out cigs to the military to get them addicted?

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Rooster Cogburn Profile
Rooster Cogburn , Rooster Cogburn, answered

I don't think so as not many of the public knew the dangers of smoking then and almost everyone at home smoked ! The President smoked. No, it was just good advertising for the time period.

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em - America in WWII magazine

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

I don't think so. Back in those days smoking was considered "normal'. It's only in more recent times that we've come to know how lethal cigarettes can be.

I don't know of any promotion aimed at increasing sales during war time although, doubtless, tobacco companies would consider such a scheme valid.

Going back another 20-some years, there was a very famous British chaplain in WWI named Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy who is remembered for two things: His poetry and his nickname: "Woodbine Willie". He used to hand out cigarettes and Woodbine tobacco to troops fighting in the trenches in France and Flanders. No promotion involved there: just an attempt to bring some comfort where it was needed.

Deleted Account Profile
Deleted Account answered

They gave out them to the soldiers so they could feel like they are gaining something.

For example, you are a soldier in world war II. You are cold, hungry, thirsty, and you miss your family and a decent cigarette. So. The compaines and government gave them to the to the military, so you get your cigarette. It satisfies your cravings and you feel a bit better. You gain hope.

Ancient One Profile
Ancient One answered

I don't believe they gave away the cigs to get the military personnel addicted. In your "C" rations you would get a small "4 (cig) pack". I think "K rations" had a "10 (cig) pack".  If you remember Vitalis, during WWII all the Vitalis made was sent to the troops. Civilians could not buy a bottle in the "drug store". It wasn't till the end of WWII that it became available to the public again on a regular basis.

2 People thanked the writer.
KB Baldwin
KB Baldwin commented
When I was in the Navy ,back in 1966 era, we would be give C-rats when we were out crawling around the brush shooting blanks at Marines. Those goods had been packaged in 1944, and the cigs had been in that pack since 1944. They burned like a brush fire.
Ancient One
Ancient One commented
I remember. Lot of guys actually quit smoking because of the "brush fires".

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