Nearly 95% of regular smokers start by the age of 21.
The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2014.
In the 50’s, Big Tobacco went into low-income neighborhoods and housing projects to hand out free cigarettes. Some went to children as young as 9 years old.
WILLIE EVANS v. LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY. Superior Court of Massachusetts, County. WILLIE EVANS, as Executor of the Estate of Marie R. Evans, Plaintiff v. LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY, Defendant ; CIVIL ACTION NO: 2004–2840–B ; September 01, 2011
As long ago as 1969, a tobacco company executive stated that they had "taken a great many steps to avoid advertising directed to young people." Yet 10 years later, they supplied their products to be featured in The Muppet Movie.
Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. American Tobacco Collection. July 22, 1969. Page: 82 of 197 in PDF. Document Type: Congressional Testimony, Legal Bates Number: 968062385/2581