Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 8, 1968

Gospel Guardian Tell-Al-Gram

WILL THE CANCER FIGHT HURT TOBACCO PRICES? (The following article by Joe Dan Boyd in Farm Journal, May 1969 will be of special interest to our readers who may look upon the tobacco problem as a moral issue.

A tobacco grower trying to get a solid bead on a long-range outlook has every reason to be confused this spring. Consider these contradictions, in recent news reports:

— Per capita consumption of cigarettes in the U. S. dropped by 2% during 1968, yet,

— U. S. exports of tobacco and tobacco products hit a record $686 million last year, and world cigarette production was up 2.5% in 1967.

— Both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have recommended a complete ban on all radio and TV advertising of cigarettes, yet...

— USDA has just earmarked $210,000 to help pay for cigarette advertising in Japan, Thailand and Austria. What's more, Italy outlawed all smoking ads in 1962, and England has banned TV commercials since 1965, with little apparent effect on the amount of smoking.

— North Carolina, the nation's leading tobacco producer, is considering its first tax on cigarettes — a trend that the industry fears is cutting consumption, yet...

— a North Carolina economist says studies show that taxes don't really affect cigarette sales until the total price hits 50 cents a pack.

-1969 government price supports to growers will average 3.6% more than last year (they've been pegged at 90% of parity since 1960), yet...

— Congress requires a health warning on cigarettes. Add to this the severe shortage of farm labor, plus the 750 million lbs. of tobacco now on inventory, and it's small wonder that tobacco allotments are going begging in some areas this spring (F. J., April, p. 35).

Tobacco has been counted out before, and each time it has recovered and gone on to set new records. So before a tobacco grower makes any long-range plans, he'd do well to learn all he can about the many currents and cross-currents in the business today.

The anti-smoking drive sponsored by the American Cancer Society is beginning to affect sales, many believe.

U.S. A. Court of Appeals has upheld the FCC ruling that radio and TV stations which carry cigarette ads must devote a significant amount of broadcast time to presenting the case against smoking. And the Cancer Society's ads are direct and hard-hitting: Like the poster showing a filter tip X'ed out beside this slogan: "Best tip yet - don't start."

TV and show business stars are doing just the opposite of the cigarette testimonial so popular a few years back. Many flatly refuse to appear in tobacco ads at all.

"Cigarette smoking causes cancer," actor Tony Curtis declared recently on TV, "The tobacco companies have yet to sue the Cancer Society for their commercials."

The biggest anti-smoking salves are being aimed at the children and teenagers. Even Yogi Bear and good old Charlie Brown are telling kids not to smoke.

The Cancer Society is now producing 3500 educational programs a year for schools, starting with second graders. "In our special programs for what are considered hardcore student-smokers, we let them handle actual damaged lungs," says the Society's Donn Bennett, "When we did that for a group of 25 in Philadelphia, 18 quit."

Against this onslaught, the tobacco industry has shown some recent signs of disorder.

Two leading cigarette makers recently have announced plans to drop the word "tobacco" from their corporate names. And tobacco manufacturers are diversifying into other lines of business.

Tobacco Associates, Inc., organized 23 years ago as spokesman for flue-cured growers, has just appropriated $50,000 to help counter the anti-smoking propaganda. But this is infinitesimal compared with the free time being handed to the Cancer Society.

What's more, Hill and Knowlton, Inc., long-time public relations firm for the industry's Tobacco Institute, has resigned the account because of disagreement over tactics.

Grower groups are fighting hard to blunt the attacks. Last month, 48 "tobacco country" Congressmen breakfasted in Washington, D. C. to organize against the anti-smoking forces. Their immediate objective is to pass a bill continuing the health warning label after it expires June 30. This would nullify, at least temporarily, the Federal Trade Commission's recent recommendation that all packages carry a stiffer warning: "Cigarette smoking is dangerous to health and may cause death from cancer and other diseases. The bill also includes a provision that would prohibit federal and state regulatory agencies from banning advertising or requiring other health warnings.

"Anti-tobacco forces are aiming at our jugular," says Carl T. Hicks, president of the Tobacco Growers Information Committee. "Some want tar and nicotine content on every pack."

Tobacco Associate's John Palmer recently told a group of South Carolinians that they ought to think twice before contributing to the American Cancer Society' "Growers have already lost $160 million, just in the last three years, due to the anti-smoking campaign. If we don't do something, the figure will soon approach a billion dollars."

Main thing growers have going for them is the smoking habit itself. When Farm Journal called on an official of the American Cancer Society, he was stabbing an ashtray with a TRUE brand cigarette butt. "Our goal is education, not prohibition," he explained.

Actor Tony Curtis stresses that he's for countering cigarette commercials, not banning them: "The commercials are not the weakness," he said. "Rather it's the need of people to smoke."

In fact, the Cancer Society has just awarded a $59,650 grant to Pennsylvania's Beaver College to study the psychology of smoking.

Meanwhile the industry is redoubling its efforts to satisfy smoker's needs while protecting their health. Newest idea is a freeze-dry process, developed by W. H. Johnson at North Carolina State University. The process reduces the tar and nicotine of cigarettes by 60%, and would double the number of cigarettes that could be made from a pound of tobacco. But North Carolina's Governor Robert Scott has called for more research on the project, explaining that it could increase crop production if it results in a safer cigarette.

Despite the conflict and confusion, smoking is probably here to stay — for those who wish it.

Some industry men do depict an end to the government's price support program. But others point out this would penalize farmers who've paid high prices for land because of allotments. Sen. Frank Moss (D. Utah) has even proposed subsidies for farmers who switch from tobacco to other crops.

Advertising will surely be regulated and countered with anti-smoking ads, but our experience with prohibition will likely militate against an all-out ban on smoking.

Although the days of the small tobacco allotment appear numbered, growers large enough to mechanize the crop aren't about to give up the habit they know best: growing tobacco.

BLUE GRASS AND KNOB COUNTRY: In the heart of Kentucky, near the geographical center of the colorful state, the newly designated All-American city of Danville builds along the Old Wilderness Road. The sun rises in a special way on this beautiful, historical and industrious settlement of 12,000 inhabitants. The Chamber of Commerce observes, "Just a word about the sunrises in Danville. It's the same sun you'll see anywhere...but the rays of a slowly rising sun do something very special...when reflected in jeweled dew on bluegrass meadows. This is a view that seldom fails to stretch the spirit of man to its tallest. It's a view we enjoy often, and one we would like to share with you. Come see us in Danville."

Near Danville, at Perryville, a major and decisive civil war battle was fought. The oldest permanent English settlement east of the Allegany's, Harrodsburg, is only a few miles from Danville. Danville, Perryville and Harrodsburg, connected by highways, constitute geographical points of a triangle which centers an area rich in history pertaining to churches of Christ. In this section, as well as in a much broader area of Kentucky Blue Grass and Knob country, 19th century preachers spread the word successfully, establishing congregations which flourish in sound influence to this day.

On the knobs, in the valleys, and on the meadows are buildings housing congregations of God's people who have withstood a number of digressions in the realm of organization, worship and doctrine. "Christian Churches" in the area reflect a number of congregations which did succumb to digression. Several "Churches of Christ" in the area are known for their divisive pre-millennial views. But this country seems unusually blessed with a good number of rural and village churches which are holding true to the New Testament order of things.

From these healthy Kentucky fellowships, churches in Ohio and Indiana have been built up and strengthened. The sturdy faith and independent nature of these Kentucky churches prepared Christians in the fundamental soundness needed to resist the innovations that especially threaten the churches of the cities. Many a sound church in the north owes its spiritual health and worth to the folks raised in the environment provided by the congregations of the Blue Grass and Knob county of Kentucky.

When one drives in the area he wonders why folks migrated from these beautiful and peaceful settings to the industrial cities of the north, and he understands why Kentuckians return so often to their home country.

This part of the country was well blessed with the preaching of the giants of the Restoration Movement like Alexander Campbell, Raccoon John Smith and others. Later 19th century history and early 20th century history brought in men like J. W. McGarvey, Daniel Sommer and F. L. Rowe. Other men of less renown like Alfred Elmore and especially Charles Ellis served well in the area.

The whole church in Danville was lost to digression, but in the 1940's C. W. Scott preached in a tent meeting in Danville and today there is a strong congregation in the city overseen by elders Kelly Ellis, Bill Royalty, Mitchell Lane and Earl Adams.

It is refreshing to discover that rural and village churches in the area are flourishing. They are not withering on the vine. There is great vitality and it is impressive to note their attendance and contribution records. A number of men of preaching experience go out from Danville to fill Sunday appointments in the rural and village churches. No preacher in modern times has worked harder nor sacrificed more in serving the needs of the churches in the area than has Kelly Ellis of Danville. Kelly Ellis is a preacher of considerable ability who serves as a guidance counselor in the public school system during the school months and holds meetings during summer months. Like Charles Ellis his father before him, Kelly is truly a man of God. His roots are deeply imbedded in this central Kentucky country. His grandfather was a "charter member" of the old Sycamore congregation which was established in the 1840's. Kelly has served as a sound and stabilizing influence in these days of brotherhood issues. Other men like Charlie Brown of Stanford and Herman Mason of Harrodsburg, Hugh Thomas and Harold Carter have served equally as well in central Kentucky country. We could write much of their work, and of others, but in this article we feature the Danville brethren.

Rea Pennock has been serving efficiently as the local preacher in Danville. He leaves this summer for another work. Brother Pennock is one who impresses you with the attributes of dedication, integrity and conviction.

The many rural and small town churches in this area would not be pleased to be identified with any movement, or party, nor with any brotherhood label, but they are characterized by the sound convictions that identify brethren who oppose church support of organizations, sponsoring churches, and modernism. Indeed, there are about 30 churches in this Danville area, and it is gratifying to learn of their presence.

FRANK D. BUTLER: After five years with the church in Frankfort, Kentucky, I will be moving in mid-June to work with the Lord's people in Anniston, Alabama. The church meets on Quintard Avenue at E Street, and, to my knowledge, is the only congregation in that area standing for the truth. Anniston is located 90 miles west of Atlanta, and 60 miles east of Birmingham, on U. S. Highway 78. Fort McClellan, a large Army base, is located just outside the city. The church is small, but has three fine elders, and enthusiastic membership, and all the opportunities it will be able to take advantage of. — 254 Queensway Drive, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 REFRESHING YOUTH MOVEMENT IN AMERICA: A "Youths For Decency" movement is underway in America. The second meeting of this movement took place in Enterprise, Alabama recently. An organizer of the movement, 18 year-old Jim Reynolds, told the group in Enterprise that young people in about 15 cities across the nation are organizing similar events. Reynolds spelled out for the Enterprise crowd the principles of the movement — love of family, respect for sex and equality of man. A crowd of 16,000 adults and youth attended the Enterprise rally.