Today in History, April 1, 1970: President Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law.
Public health officials had recognized the hazards of tobacco usage since the thirties (at least) and restrictions on sale to juveniles had been enacted, along with a surgeon general’s warning.
With the act enacted by Congress and signed in 1970, cigarette advertising was banned from television and radio, although it would continue in print media. This was an effort to minimize exposure to children.
The stronger warning on tobacco packaging, “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health” was also added.
The last televised ad would appear in the form of a Virginia Slims commercial during the Johnny Carson Show on January 2, 1971.