'A smoke-free America by 2000 AD' (1986-1992)

In July 1983, a thousand delegates from more than 70 countries descended upon the Canadian city of Winnipeg to attend the Fifth World Conference on Smoking and Health. More than 100 meetings were held over six days and anyone who was anyone in the anti-tobacco movement took to the stage to rally their supporters. Like the Olympics, these conferences were held every four years and, since their inception in 1967, had been characterised by reviews of scientific literature and debate over how to inform the public about the hazards of smoking. In Winnipeg, however, there was a tangible sense of renewed purpose and a unprecedented thirst for action. John Banzhaf III took to the stage to describe smoking a "stupid, smelly and socially unacceptable practice that should be restricted to consenting adults in private." He claimed that smoking cost America $50 billion a year, urged the victims of fires caused by cigarettes to sue the tobacco industry and demanded that smokers ("no matter how poor") pay more than nonsmokers if they needed to visit a doctor.

Donna Shimp appeared twice to tell her story of being the first person in the US to be legally compensated for having to work in a smoky office. A representatives from the UK's Health Education agency talked about their aim of reducing smoking prevalence to 20% by 1993 (it stood at 36% at the time).

Barely two years had passed since the first epidemiological study fingered passive smoking as a hazard to nonsmokers but the concept had taken firm root...

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