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Monday, 7 January 2013

I haven't smoked in over ten years, and I'm so glad I quit the habit.  Not only is it bad for your health, but it is expensive as hell.  No thanks.

That being said, there was nothing better than that first inhale of a long awaited cigarette break. No hardship was too unbearable as long as you knew a beautiful cigarette awaited you at the end - it was the omnipresent light-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow.  The pot of gold that awaited at the end of drudgery.  It was almost worth the ensuing cancer.

And non-smokers just can't understand how those cancer-sticks added something wonderfully intangible to a night out drinking. Who can say why a coffin nail in your hand at a bar or party made the experience so much better.  The combo of cigarettes and alcohol is something I will forever miss.

Those young'uns out there will never be able to grasp the utter ubiquitousness of the cigarette back in the seventies and even most of the eighties.  There was basically nowhere you couldn't smoke: airplanes, offices, shopping malls, hospitals,.... most schools even had designated smoking areas where the seniors could smoke.  You couldn't walk ten feet back then without running into an ashtray - and the streets and sidewalks were littered with butts (and pop tops).

So, in memoriam of the late-great cigarette (why did you have to be so damn bad for our health!), here's a bunch of super cool tobacco ads from back in their heyday.  Enjoy.

I always liked the Benson and Hedges "broken cigarette" theme they kept up for years.  It was genius in that the humor distracted you from the ill-effects of smoking; plus, it was an easy opportunity to throw in some cheesecake.  Speaking of...

While Virginia Slims targeted the female smoker, most other ads went for the males - which more often than not meant implementing the 'sex sells' approach. After all, it was the seventies.

The "down home taste" campaign is amazing to me.  Like it's hot apple pie and fresh baked bread from the country store. These are about as disingenuous and misleading as the 'Made in the USA" Wal-Mart ads. 

Smoking in the office?  She'd be tasered and escorted from the premises in handcuffs today.

This Salem ad seems to have taken a page out of the Newport playbook.  For cigarette ads that push the subliminal envelope, Newport has them all beat.  Every ad was a Freudian orgasm.


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