Monday, 13 April 2015

Tobacco to win the war

100 years ago today, 13 April 1915, the Ottawa Journal in conjunction with the Montreal Gazette was promoting a subscription program to support our troops in Europe.  People were asked to send one dollar, or 25 cents to provide a parcel of comforts for the troops - in the parcel -- tobacco.
The 25c parcel had 50 cigarettes and 4 ounces of smoking mixture, some matches and a postcard addressed to the donor. The dollar pack had in addition one briar pipe, one rubber-lined tobacco pouch, one tinder lighter.
I suppose if the German poisonous gas didn't get you the tobacco smoke would -- eventually. But not before the tobacco companies had made a good profit from the addicted survivors.
How times have changed.

1 comment:

Bruce Elliott said...

Re your recent blog post 'Tobacco to win the war', on the Ottawa Journal's 1915 subscription campaign to send tobacco to the troops, to which you commented, "How times have changed": maybe not so much. In Australia last month I picked up an interesting book by James Brown, a retired Australian army officer, entitled Anzac's Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession. In chap. 6 he criticizes a beer sales campaign of seven years standing that urges Australians to 'Raise a Glass' on Anzac Day, whereby a dollar from the sale of each case of a Foster's subsidiary product goes to the veterans charity Legacy and the veterans organization the Returned and Services League. The Australian army even allowed a current Victoria Cross winner to promote the campaign. The program has its critics, who are unhappy that the company profits off the Anzac legend, and the Queensland RSL declined participating, saying that the campaign associates the military with the promotion of alcohol at a time when alcohol abuse is a growing problem within the Australian Defence Force. But the promotion continues: