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Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation
the 20th century; in particular, cigarettes served as a more efficient vehicle for the absorption of nicotine and a less expensive form of tobacco. Also, by the 1880s, cigarette production had been mechanized with the advent of the Bonsack machine, which made it possible to produce additional units for little or no additional cost, and the prices of cigarettes were cut in half (Chaloupka et al. 2002; Giovino 2002). The lower price made cigarettes more accessible to a wider clientele (DHHS 2000b). By the 1950s, manufactured cigarettes represented 80 percent of per-person tobacco consumption (Giovino 2002).
In 1900, on a per-capita basis, American adults smoked approximately 54 cigarettes per year. That number increased almost exponentially until its peak in 1963, when an estimated 4,345 cigarettes were consumed per adult in that year alone, as shown in Figure 1-1 (ALA 2006). This growth in consumption occurred for many reasons, but was driven largely by the mass production of cigarettes; the mildness, packaging, addictiveness, and convenience of the product; glamorization of smoking in movies and on television; and persuasive advertising campaigns (Chaloupka et al. 2002; DHHS 2000a; Giovino 2002).
The milder flavor of the Turkish and domestic blended tobacco products also increased the appeal of cigarettes to a wider clientele. In the early twentieth century, cigarette manufacturers developed new blends using American-grown tobacco, such as sugared burley tobaccos (Giovino 2002). Manufacturers also used new methods of curing the tobacco, including flue
FIGURE 1-1 Per capita consumption of cigarettes among adults ages 18 years and older from 1900 to 2004.