Here’s an interesting article about this book as it was first published: https://www.thelily.com/a-female-historian-wrote-a-book-two-male-historians-went-on-npr-to-talk-about-it-they-never-mentioned-her-name/
Anyway, this is a relatively dry (flue dried?) political of tobacco in the 20th century. It’s centered around the cigarette, but it’s not solely about that. Instead, it begins with the incorporation of tobacco growing into the concept of agriculture as a political concept. This means treating it as a commodity no different from any other agricultural commodity. This led to including tobacco production into agriculture subsidies, including it in farm bills, building into further into the growth and development programs of the New Deal, and even including it as part of the Marshall Plan. The book discusses how tobacco’s strength as an industry moved from having powerful Southern senators in its pocket to eventually having powerful lobbying in its pockets.
As the book continues it moves onto the kinds of stuff that happened in our lifetimes — the nonsmoking movement, tobacco litigation, whistleblowing, cancer and the surgeon general, and eventually onto the idea of how vaping might change the game again.
I grew up in a smoking household, and somehow me and my siblings all avoided becoming smokers ourselves, and this has led to my being vehemently anti-smoking both as a “rights” issue and in personal choices. But both my parents smoked (and still do) and I grew going to soccer games with a Winston bucks water cooler and sports bag, seeing my parents treated as pariahs (and again, in my mind, a little justified) and seeing how much things changed within the time span of the early 1980s and 1990s.