Test Your Knowledge

1. Who said, "The decadence of Spain began when the Spaniards adopted cigarettes, and if this pernicious practice obtains [continues] among adult Americans the ruin of the republic is close at hand."
a) The New York Times, 1884.
b) Mark Twain, 1900.
c) Groucho Marx, 1952
d) Theodore Roosevelt, 1902
e) Susan B. Anthony, 1915
2. How did Kent cigarettes get their name?
a) Lorillard Company executives were big fans of the "Superman" comic book series. They named the brand after Clark Kent.
b) They're named after Herbert A. Kent, a Lorillard Tobacco Company executive.
c) They're named after England's Duchess of Kent, who at the turn of the century became the first female member of the British Royal Family to smoke in public.
d) The tobacco in Kent cigarettes was originally grown in Teaneck, New Jersey. (Kent spelled backwards is t-nek).
3. At the turn of the century, cigars outsold cigarettes in the United States; but as the years passed, cigarettes gained in popularity. How did the cigar companies respond to the threat?
a) They threw a "Boston Cigarette Party"--on the Fourth of July they dressed up as Indians and threw cartons of cigarettes into the Boston Harbor from the back of a sailing ship they chartered for the occasion.
b) They founded the National Lung Association
c) They started a whispering campaign--they spread rumors that cigarettes were made with paper that had been bleached with arsenic, and with tobacco salvaged from discarded cigar butts.
d) They taught circus pigs and horses to smoke, then launched a national newspaper and billboard campaign around the slogan, "Only a Mammal Would Smoke a Camel."
4. Which of the following was never a cigarette brand?
a) Jim Dumps
b) Pig Foot
c) Pin Head
d) Kookaburra
e) Barking Dog
f) All of the above were cigarette brands.
5. R.J. Reynolds spent 7 years and more than $300 million developing a high-tech "smokeless cigarette" called Premier. Designed in response to consumer health concerns about regular cigarettes, Premier cigarettes contained almost no tobacco and did not burn when lit. Flavor was provided by tobacco-extract "flavor beads" which were activated when the smoker lit the "carbon element" at the tip of the cigarette. The technology was complicated but the idea was simple: no tobacco smoke inhaled, no disease.
R.J. Reynolds introduced the brand in test markets in October 1988... and then pulled the plug five months later. Why?
a) It's hard to tout the health benefits of a cigarette that doesn't cause cancer when you're already pretending that none of your other cigarettes cause cancer.
b) The cigarettes were difficult to use--each pack came with four pages of instructions--and were almost impossible to light. As one analyst put it, it, "it took a blowtorch" to get the carbon element to heat up properly.
c) Smokers had to suck really hard to get any flavor; a phenomenon that R.J. Reynolds researchers dubbed "the hernia effect."
d) Even when smokers did get flavor, the taste was awful. In the words of one test subject, "it tasted like sh__."
e) All of the above.
6. In 1990 an anti-smoking group the Advocacy Institute released a confidential marketing report prepared for R.J. Reynolds concerning Dakota, a new cigarette brand targeted at women. The documents, which according to the Wall St. Journal "appeared to originate from a disgruntled company employee," referred to the new brand as "Project Virile Female."
Which of the following describes the type of female targeted by RJ Reynolds for the cigarette?
a) A white, 18-24 year-old female with no education beyond high school.
b) A woman who watches a lot of television ("entertainment she can afford"), especially Roseanne and "evening soap opera (bitches)."
c) A woman who works, but for whom "work is a job, not a career, a way to make money."
d) A woman whose chief aspiration is "to get married in her early twenties," and who spends most of her free time "with her boyfriend doing whatever he is doing." Such activities include "partying," "cruising," and attending "Hot Rod shows" and "tractor pulls."
e) All of the above.
7. In 1963, a Wisconsin businessman came up with an idea for a new kind of tobacco product. What was his idea?
a) Beer-flavored cigarettes, to help smokers stop drinking.
b) Cigarette-flavored beer, to help drinkers stop smoking
c) Cheese-filtered cigarettes. The businessman figured that if smoke could flavor cheese, why couldn't cheese be used to flavor smokes?
d) "Emergency" spontaneous-combustion cigarettes, for smokers with no matches. Tear open the cigarette's sealed foil pouch, and the cigarette tip bursts into flame upon contact with the outside air.
e) All of the above--the guy was really smart.
8. In March 1988 Northwest Airlines announced that it was banning smoking on all of its North American flights. How did the Tobacco Institute respond?
a) It ignored the insult and went calmly about its business.
b) It sold its Northwest stock and organized a tobacco industry boycott of the airline.
c) It staged "smoke-ins:" tobacco industry executives piled onto Northwest flights and refused to extinguish their cigars, pipes, cigarettes, and hookahs.
d) It issued a press release reporting that passenger complaints against Northwest had increased 1,418% the previous year.
9. When Northwest Airlines complained, how did the Tobacco Institute respond?
a) It ignored the insult and went calmly about its business.
b) It said it was sorry and promised never to do it again.
c) It sent the press release out a second time.
d) It announced that from now on, all Tobacco Institute employees would travel by train.
10. Fresh from the success of his Prince Albert pipe tobacco, in 1911 Richard Joshua (R.J.) Reynolds considered naming his company's first brand of cigarettes after Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm. The cigarette packaging would show the Kaiser in full imperial regalia, sitting atop a white horse.
...But Reynolds ultimately changed his mind and named his cigarettes "Camels." Why?
a) Only weeks before Kaiser Wilhelms were scheduled to debut, Kaiser Wilhelm banned smoking in the German Army.
b) According to historian Richard Kluger, "Reynolds hesitated to name the product after a living figure because `you never know what the damn fool might do.' "
c) Reynolds learned that Kaiser Wilhelm was a close personal friend of archrival Buck Duke, founder of the American Tobacco Company.
d) The printer misspelled the word "Wilhelm" on 15,000 packs of cigarettes. There wasn't time to design new packs, so Reynolds had to settle for an old camel logo that the printer had lying around the factory.


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