BACK in 1929, Edward Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud) had a fabulous idea: pay women to smoke cigarettes while marching in the famous Easter Day Parade in New York.
“Call them ‘Torches of Freedom’,” he said to his clients, the cigarette manufacturers, who were desperate to break into the female market and make fabulous profits. Link the act of smoking to women’s rights, frame the hitherto unacceptable act of smoking as a declaration of freedom.
Yep. You’ve come a long way, baby… 30 years later the incidence of lung cancer in women began to spiral upwards till it toppled breast cancer from the top spot in 1987. Thanks, Edward Bernays, father of public relations. Nice one.