Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Trium PH of Philip Morris

Richard Kluger, Author Alfred A. Knopf $35 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57076-1
The time is right for a comprehensive history of cigarettes in America and their effect on public health and the economy. This book, passionate yet measured, bulky but absorbing, looms as definitive. Kluger (Simple Justice) traces the rise of the cigarette to the onset of mass production in the late 19th century. He moves forward with cross-cutting stories, about the barons and hucksters who developed the industry, the slow rise of medical and civic concern over smoking and the industry's increasingly obfuscatory and combative stance. Kluger has harsh words for government regulators, long too timid to take on a powerful industry. And while he ultimately indicts industry leader Philip Morris, his narrative suggests that the company, which has moved overseas and also diversified into the food business, has been managed with supreme savvy. Kluger concludes with an innovative policy remedy: because the tobacco companies will inevitably lose big in court someday, why not trade a federal exemption from lawsuits for limits on advertising, higher cigarette taxes, an end to tobacco price supports and required reductions on tar and nicotine? (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0890-1
Ebook - 739 pages - 978-0-307-43283-4
Paperback - 832 pages - 978-0-375-70036-1
Hardcover - 978-0-517-45110-6
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