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By A M Brandt, Basic Books: New York, 2007, £16.99; pp 600, ISBN 13 978-0-465-07047-3
Allan Brandt, a leading US historian of medicine, provides a superb history of the century of the cigarette in the USA. He explains the technological and social reasons for the victory of the cigarette over all other methods of tobacco use; the key role played by the first world war in legitimating cigarette smoking; and the success of advertising and public relations in the 1920s and 1930s in making smoking such a pervasive habit that by 1950 over half of all …