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Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

The No Smoking Garden

The crusade against tobacco has depended on shameless propaganda.

No smoking sign
(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

In 1932, eleven men strode onto an exposed steel beam on the sixty-ninth floor of what would become the Radio Corporation of America’s New York headquarters. A photo was taken of the group that hangs behind bar counters across the nation. The picture evokes a nostalgia for an America that citizens now the age of those portrayed have never known. 

Not least because they’re smoking cigarettes.