“Smoke On The Water” Exhibit To Open At International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum

smoking
Photo Courtesy: International Swimming Hall of Fame

The grand opening of a new International Swimming Hall of Fame exhibit called “Smoke on the Water” will be unveiled on Thursday, May 17th to start the 54th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Weekend.  This exhibit portrays how the tobacco industry recruited Olympic swimmers and especially female swimmers to promote their products. The exhibit presents examples of advertisements from as far back as the early 1900s of the many ways that swimmers were used to promote tobacco use.

The exhibit is in conjunction with The Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County (TFP).   The International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum is located at 1 Hall of Fame Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316.

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Photo Courtesy: International Swimming Hall of Fame

The public is welcome to visit this exciting exhibit to learn more about the TFP and the wonderful materials at the ISHOF museum.

In the first half of the 20th century, smoking became fashionable in advertising, in film and in society in general thanks to the use of social engineering and manipulation by public relations and advertising agencies. It was not until 1964 that the Surgeon General’s report connected smoking to negative health consequences that had long been suspected and secretly known by the tobacco industry.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that so many Olympic athletes jumped at the chance to earn money from their fame after their athletic careers ended. But several of those who lent their names to cigarette advertising paid the price. Helene Madison died of cancer at the age of 57, Harold “Dutch” Smith died of cancer at the age of 49, his wife, also a smoker died of  cancer the year earlier. Knowing what we know now, most would probably never have endorsed smoking. Yet, there is no denying the unwitting role that our aquatic stars played in manipulating millions of women (and men) to become addicted to nicotine with dire consequences.

smoke on the water

Photo Courtesy: International Swimming Hall of Fame

Facts About Women and Smoking

• For over 100 years, women have been extensively targeted in tobacco marketing dominated by themes of an association between social desirability, independence, weight control and smoking messages conveyed through advertisements featuring slim, attractive, and athletic models
• Teenage girls often start to smoke to avoid weight gain and to identify themselves as independent and glamorous, which reflect images projected by tobacco advertising. Cigarette advertising portrays cigarettes as causing slimness and implies that cigarette smoking suppresses appetite
• Smoking is directly responsible for 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women in the U.S. each year.  In 2013, an estimated 70,542 women died of lung and bronchus cancer.
• In 1987, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S.
• From 1959 to 2010, the risk of developing lung cancer increased tenfold for women. This is thought to be at least partially due to the manipulation of cigarettes by tobacco companies.
• Female smokers are nearly 22 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, compared to women who never have smoked
• Women who smoke may develop more severe COPD earlier in life
• Women who smoke also have an increased risk for developing cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder and uterine cervix. They also double their risk for developing coronary heart disease
• Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture compared to never smokers. Cigarette smoking also causes skin wrinkling that could make smokers appear less attractive and prematurely old

On Sunday May 20 from 8 AM to 9:30 AM, the TFP and ISHOF are sponsoring a fundraising event along with Swim Across America to raise money to fight cancer. The event will take place at the International Swimming Hall of Fame pool, located at One Hall of Fame Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316-just South of Las Olas off of Seabreeze Blvd. Join the ISHOF Relay! For more information on the event, please see this link