Researchers began finding links between smoking and lung cancer as early as 1900. The first medical studies indicating smoking to this and other illnesses began to appear in the 1920s.   Between 1920 and 1960, an established link between smoking and health problems had clearly been made.  In 1962, Dr. Luther L. Terry, the Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Heath Service, convened an advisory committee for closer examination between the link of smoking and illness.

On January 11, 1964, the advisory committee released its conclusion that “cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial  action.”   Congress enacted the Original Act in 1965. Here,  the FTC proposed required warnings on containers and print advertisements for cigarettes, the Original Act only required such warnings on packaging. The 1969 act, however, went further and required warnings be placed within any and all print advertising of cigarettes. The 1969 act also banned cigarette advertising in any medium of electronic communication subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.

Congress had two explicit purposes for adopting these statutes.  First, to adequately inform the public of the health hazards of smoking, and second, to protect the national economy from the potential impact on the cigarette manufacturing industry if each of the fifty states enacted its own packaging and advertisement regulations.

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