On April 1, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed legislation officially banning
cigarette ads on television and radio. By the early 1970s, a fight between the
tobacco lobby and public health interests began. Though the cigarette company’s continued to bombard unregulated print media with ads for cigarettes, tobacco companies lost the regulatory battle over television and radio.
The last televised cigarette ad ran at 11:50 p.m. during The Johnny Carson Show
on Friday, January 1, 1971. Tobacco ads representing $20 million dollars in
advertising were then officially banned from TV and radio broadcast.