1914 - 1918 CE
Tobacco products are heavily promoted (and distributed to soldiers) during World War I

With the onset of First World War, it has been argued that the tobacco manufacturers initiated an extensive effort around supplying tobacco, in particular cigarettes, to soldiers. The aim was to mitigate the negative effects of the opposition movement and increase the use of their product. Others argue that while the industry was ready to combine opportunity with patriotism, the tobacco manufacturers were just one of several players involved. Military and government leaders, the media and charity organizations each had a hand in promoting tobacco products during the War. One line of reasoning contends the US military and government took the lead in distributing cigarettes to American soldiers. This argument asserts government and military authorities were determined to fight a “clean war” untainted by alcohol or prostitution. Tobacco was seen as a way to steer soldiers away from greater vices. The thinking was that soldiers soothed by cigarette smoke would be less likely to seek other temptations. The US Congress banned the sale of alcohol to soldiers and established prostitution-free zones around military camps, but included tobacco products in rations and subsidized their sale at canteens. The US War Industries Board encouraged domestic production of tobacco by designating cigarette manufacturing as an essential industry.

Source: Smokes for soldiers (2016). The Center for Addictions Research of BC.

Drugs: Tobacco
Regions: USA (United States of America)
Topics: Drugs and war