2022 John P. McGovern Lecture

Sidewalk scene with people and sign advertising Kool cigarettes on store wall (from book cover) and headshot of Keith Wailoo

Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol Cigarette

Keith Wailoo, PhD
Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs
Princeton University

Tuesday, September 20, 5:45pm
Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University

Reception to follow  I  Free and open to the public
Additional parking available in Anderson Street lot

Masking at the lecture is encouraged. Masks will be available at the event.

In this talk, Keith Wailoo tells the intricate and poignant story of menthol cigarettes for the first time. He exposes the hidden persuaders who shaped menthol buying habits and racial markets across America: the world of tobacco marketers, consultants, psychologists, and social scientists, as well as Black lawmakers and civic groups including the NAACP. Spanning a century, Professor Wailoo's recent book, Pushing Cool: Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol Cigarette, reveals how the twin deceptions of health and Black affinity for menthol were crafted--and how the industry's disturbingly powerful narrative has endured to this day.

Keith Wailoo is Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs. He is jointly appointed in the Department of History and in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He is former Vice Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs, former Chair of History, and current President of the American Association for the History of Medicine (2020-2022). His research straddles history and health policy, touching on drugs and drug policy, on the politics of race and health, on the interplay of identity, ethnicity, gender, and medicine, and on controversies in genetics and society.

This lecture is made possible by the John P. McGovern, MD Endowment Fund.
The McGovern Prize is awarded to an individual for outstanding contributions to the Art & Science of Medicine.