Away with tobacco? On the early understandings of tobacco as a problem and the associated attempts at political regulation of tobacco in Norway 1900–1930

Open access

Abstract

BACKGROUND - In the early 1900s, the industrialization of cigarette production rapidly created the first major expansion in tobacco consumption in modern times. AIMS - This article focuses on the “tobacco problem” as it was understood, debated and sought governed in Norway around the time of the First World War. I identify various attempts to define tobacco as a problem, including arguments put forward by the anti-tobacco movement, the medical profession and politicians. How were health, moral-aesthetic and economic conditions articulated and integrated in these arguments? What (if any) addictive elements of smoking were in focus? I also discuss the association between perceptions of the tobacco problem and political attempts to regulate it. There were repeated calls for a state tobacco monopoly to be introduced and municipal licensing system for the sale of cigarettes. DATA - The data are sourced from the journals Tobakskampen (The Tobacco Fight), the journal of the norwegian medical association and parliamentary documents. FINDINGS - The findings suggest that a) to the extent tobacco was perceived as a social problem, it was a moral one (vice), not a behavioural and dependency problem, which alcohol was perceived to be at the time; b) proposals to establish a tobacco monopoly were based on economic arguments only, and lacked any firm connection to social issues, health and morality; and c) the anti-tobacco movement was socially marginal and their commitment to the municipal licensing idea resulted in large regional variations in public support, too large in fact for the idea to be effective. Although the government did not introduce regulations in the 1920s, the industrialization of cigarettes and subsequent developments in advertising caused a “moral panic” among tobacco opponents and created the modern climate of opinion regarding tobacco.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Brandt A. M. (2007). The cigarette century. The rise fall and the deadly persistence of the product that defined America. New York: Basic Books.

  • Bynum W. F. (1984) Alcoholism and degeneration in 19th century European medicine and psychiatry. British Journal of Addiction 79(1) 59-70.

  • Courtwright D. T. (2005) Mr. ATOD’s wild ride: What does alcohol tobacco and other drugs have in common? The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 20(1) 105-140.

  • Courtwright D. T. & Hickman T. A. (2011) Modernity and anti-modernity: drug policy and political culture in the United States and Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In G. Hunt M. Milhet & H. Bergernon (Eds.) Drugs and Culture: Knowledge Consumption and Policy (pp. 213-224). Farnham: Ashgate.

  • Gately I. (2001). La diva nicotina. The story of how tobacco seduced the world. New York: Schribner.

  • Gillis J. R. (1975) The evolution of juvenile delinquency in England 1890-1914. Past & Present 67(1) 96-126.

  • Hilton M. & Nightingale S. (1998) ‘A microbe of the Devil’s own husband’: Religion and Science in the British anti-tobacco movement 1853-1908. In S. Lock L. Reynolds & E. M. Tansey (Eds.) Ashes to Ashes. The History of Smoking and Health (pp. 41-75). Rodopi: Amsterdam.

  • Hodne F. (1978). Fra forbrukervalg til forbrukerbeskyttelse 1800-1975 [From consumer choice to consumer protection 1800-1975]. In F. Sejersted & A. S. Svendsen (Eds.) Blader av tobakkens historie. J. L. Tiedemanns tobaksfabrik 1778-1978 (pp.188-218). Oslo: J. L. Tiedemanns Tobaksfabrik og Gyldendal Norsk Forlag A/S.

  • Horverak Ø. (2001). Vinmonopolet - mellom avholdsbevegelse og måtehold. Nordisk Alkohol- og Narkotikatidsskrift 18(1) 7-23.

  • Hovedregister til Tidsskrift for den Norske Lægeforening 1881-1902 [Main Index to the journal of the Norwegian medical association 1881-1902]. Kristiania: Alb. Cammermeyers forlag 1903.

  • Hovedregister til Tidsskrift for den Norske Lægeforening 1903-1937 [Main Index to the journal of the Norwegian medical association 1903-1937]. Oslo: Centraltrykkeriet 1939.

  • Karlsson T. (2008). Downsizing. Personnel Reductions at the Swedish Tobacco Monopoly 1915-1939. Holmsbergs Lund Studies in Economic History 47.

  • Keirle P. (2013). Citizens and the cigarette: The civic dimensions of America’s earliest youth-targeted mass-mediated anticigarette campaign. Journal of Consumer Culture 13(3) 3-24.

  • Lund K. E. (1996). Samfunnsskapte endringer i tobakksbruk i Norge i det 20. århundre [Community created changes in tobacco use in Norway in the 20th century]. Dr. polit-avhandling. Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo.

  • Lukes S. (1992). Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work. A Historical and Critical Study. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

  • Munksgaard J. H. (1978). Tobakksdyrking i Sogn 1882-1920 [Tobacco cultivation in Sogn 1882-1920]. In F. Sejersted & A. S. Svendsen (Eds.) Blader av tobakkens historie. J. L. Tiedemanns tobaksfabrik 1778-1978 (pp. 111-137). Oslo: J. L. Tiedemanns Tobaksfabrik og Gyldendal Norsk Forlag A/S.

  • Nordvik H. W. (1978). Norsk tobakksindustri 1850-1940 [Norwegian tobacco industry 1850-1940]. In F. Sejersted & A. S. Svendsen (Eds.) Blader av tobakkens historie. J. L. Tiedemanns tobaksfabrik 1778-1978 (pp. 221-290). Oslo: J. L. Tiedemanns Tobaksfabrik og Gyldendal Norsk Forlag A/S.

  • NOU 1995:24 Alkoholpolitikken i endring? Retrieved from http://www.regjeringen.no/Rpub/NOU/19951995/024/PDFA/NOU199519950024000DDDPDFA.pdf

  • Rokkan S. (1967). Geography religion and social class: Crosscutting cleavages in Norwegian politics. In S. M. Lipset & S.

  • Rokkan (Eds.) Party systems and voter alignments. Cross-national perspectives New York: The Free Press.

  • Schou P. (1909). Tobaksrøkning og dens skadelige virkninger - oversigtsreferat. Tidsskrift for Den norske lægeforening (pp. 506-512). Kristiania.

  • Skretting A. Lund K. E. & Bye E. (2014). Rusmidler i Norge 2013. Oslo: Statens institutt for rusmiddelforskning (SIRUS). Retrieved from http://www.sirus.no/filestore/Import_vedlegg/Vedlegg_publikasjon/Rusmidler_i_Norge2013.pdf

  • SSB (1923). Kommunevalgene 1922. Norges offisielle statistikk VII 78. Kristiania.

  • Sæbø G. (2012). The Regulation of Smoking and Smokers in Norway 1964-2010. In M. Hellman G. Roos & J. von Wright (Eds.) A Welfare Policy Patchwork. Negotiating the Public Good in Times of Transition (pp. 21-41). Helsingsfors: Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues (NVC).

  • Tate C. (1999). Cigarette wars. The triumph of “The little white slaver”. New York: Oxford University Press. Tobakkskampen (1916-1930).

  • Tobakken og vi (1963). “En overgangstid som bør bli kortest mulig” [The shortest possible transition time]. Leder nr 4/63 s.1.

  • US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS)(1988). The health consequences of smoking: Nicotine addiction. A report of the surgeon general. Retrieved from http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBZD.pdf

  • US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS)(1986). The health consequences of involuntary smoking. A report of the surgeon general. Retrieved from http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/C/P/M/

  • US Public Health Service (USPHS)(1964). Smoking and health. Report of the advisory committee to the surgeon general of the public health service. Retrieved from http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBMQ.pdf

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.683
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.752


CiteScore 2018: 0.64

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.313
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.456



Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 69 35 1
PDF Downloads 44 32 2