A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California at San Francisco has uncovered dozens of contracts between tobacco companies, movie stars, and film studios from the silent era through the early '50s that in today's dollars would be worth millions. Dr. Robert Jackler, chairman of otolaryngology (diseases of the ear, nose, and throat) at the Stanford School of Medicine. "The tobacco industry used Hollywood to sell its brands and reassure a worried public that smoking was not harmful." In virtually all the ads, which appeared in newspapers and magazines and also were frequently broadcast on radio, actors and actresses endorsed a tobacco brand with claims that it was milder than others. UC San Francisco professor Stanton Glantz, who authored the study, said that it "debunks the myth" that smoking in movies purely reflected the American culture. Contracts disclosed in the study, published today (Thursday) in the British journal Tobacco Control , reveal that one brand alone, Lucky Strike, paid stars the equivalent of $3.2 million in today's dollars. The study found that nearly 200 actors were paid for tobacco endorsements between 1927 and 1951, including two-thirds of the top 50 box-office stars.
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