Cover image for Tobacco USA : the industry behind the smoke curtain
Tobacco USA : the industry behind the smoke curtain
Heyes, Eileen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
160 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Describes how the health dangers of tobacco became known, despite the political clout and promotional rhetoric that once kept the tobacco industry thriving.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library HD9135 .H44 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The tobacco industry has long been among the most powerful in the United States. From the 1950s through the 1980s, while thousands of scientific studies showed cigarettes to be addictive and potentially lethal, tobacco executives insisted there was no proof their product was harmful. Bolstered by huge profits, cigarette companies continued to market aggressively, shout down health warnings, and pour money into lawmakers' campaign coffers to buy influence. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Eileen Heyes has been a newspaper reporter and editor for twenty years. Ms. Heyes lives with her husband and two sons in the heart of tobacco country--Raleigh, North Carolina.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 8-12. A well-researched, concise study of the U.S. tobacco industry and its murky history, this should prove highly useful for reports and debates. Heyes, an experienced newspaper reporter and editor based in tobacco country, packs an incredible amount of information into 10 short chapters. There's historical background along with information on current tobacco farming techniques, government support and regulation of the industry, marketing trends, and, of course, "big tobacco's" ongoing defensive battle. Quotations, photographs, advertising art, and editorial cartoons are used to good effect, and a chronology, a bibliography, and source notes (with Web sites) are appended. An excellent introduction to a complex industry that now influences the world community as well as the U.S., this book will also help kids understand just what kind of advertising pressures are being used on young people by the tobacco industry--and its foes. (Reviewed December 15, 1999)0761309748Jean Franklin

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-An outstanding historical account of the tobacco leaf and how it changed from a ceremonial tool to a health hazard. Heyes summarizes this multifaceted history in a concise narrative that captures readers' attention and sustains it throughout. Through the use of perfectly placed cartoons, advertisements, and quotations, the author explains complex political, financial, and social issues in a logical manner. She discusses the development of tobacco as a cash crop and governmental revenue source; how it spread throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia; and how this agricultural commodity became a billion-dollar industry that grew out of control in the United States. The text touches on how tobacco is grown, auctioned, and sold; how the industry hid research regarding the addictive qualities of nicotine; why the market continued to flourish despite efforts to curb these huge corporations; and the demise of the industry through mounting lawsuits and the publication of self-incriminating memos. This to-the-point volume will answer students' research questions and will enable them to discuss this controversial business intelligently. A fine companion to Richard Kluger's Ashes to Ashes (Knopf, 1996), Heyes's title offers a lively and far-reaching overview.-Joanne K. Cecere, Highland High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Traitorp. 9
Chapter 2 Rising Smokep. 14
Chapter 3 "Blow Some My Way"p. 30
Chapter 4 "Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous ..."p. 46
Chapter 5 The Thirteen-Month Cropp. 61
Chapter 6 Leaves of Goldp. 75
Chapter 7 Replacementsp. 84
Chapter 8 Thinking Globallyp. 98
Chapter 9 Under Firep. 110
Chapter 10 Showdownp. 124
Chronologyp. 141
Bibliographyp. 148
Source Notesp. 153
Indexp. 156

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