Long before the Surgeon General's Report, Americans were well aware of the dangers of smoking. Often referred to as "Coffin Nails", the manufacture and sale of cigarettes was outlawed in fifteen states by 1907 and legislation to ban them had been filed in 22 others. Ultimately, the enforcement of these laws proved to be impossible and all the legislation was repealed by 1930 but anti-smoking campaigns continued throughout the 1920s and 30's. One of the strongest opponents of cigarette smoking was Henry Ford who published a booklet in 1914 entitled "The Little White Slaver" aimed at teenagers and forbade smoking at any of his plants. Leaning against machinery, sitting, squatting, spitting, talking and whistling were also not allowed on the production line.
Black humor regarding the dangers of smoking has long been commonplace as illustrated by this early 1920s brand called Wooden Kimona Nails from Batt Brothers of New York. The inside lid reads: "Stop here a moment and cast an eye. As you were once, so once was I. As I am now, so you will be . Smoke up before you follow me."