Throughout the early 1940’s to mid 1960’s, the popular habit of smoking cigarettes was not only condoned, but advertised by doctors and lawmakers. With the support of medical professionals and non-restrictive advertisement laws, the widespread use of this deadly product exploded. The ‘Big Tobacco’ industry and the federal government made enormous amounts in profit and tax revenue. Numerous similarities can be found between the advertising of cigarettes and the prescription opioid, OxyContin. ‘Big Tobacco’ and the producer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma (Hoffman and Williams Walsh), employed incredibly similar tactics to encourage the public to use their lethal products. By controlling the narrative about the potential dangers, and the addictive properties through their use of advertisements, both “Big Tobacco” and Purdue Pharmaceuticals accomplished their goals of inspiring the “why wouldn’t I use it” question in the consumers’ minds.
Fletcher, Gillian, "“Why Wouldn’t I Use It?”: Purdue Pharmaceutical’s Push of Pills" (2020). Student Scholarship. 2.