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It is hard to watch a movie made before 1960 without noticing the high percentage of people who are smoking cigarettes. In contrast, the reduced amount of smoking portrayed on film since the 1960s has corresponded to a similar decline in the percentage of people who smoke within the general population, particularly in the United States, but also in Europe. Fashions change for many reasons, and smoking has become so thoroughly unfashionable in many countries that it has been largely relegated to private homes and cars.

There can be no doubt that much of this shift in fashion has been a response to the growing awareness that smoking can damage health. This damage to health, moreover, has been accompanied by rapidly increasing taxation at both state ...

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