Monday, November 17, 2008

Hey, baby, got a light?

Yes, even babies were fair game in the cigarette advertisments of the 1950s. Oh, and this man isn't really a doctor. But - hey - anything goes when it comes to peddling tobacco.
Find out how cigarette companies manipulated images and twisted the truth to get Americans to light up.


Nathan Heller said...

Seriously, this almost makes me feel stupid for smoking.

Coutelier said...

I'd always felt stupid for smoking, especially since I'd been adamantly anti-smoking for the first eighteen years of my life. I knew well what the risks were.

The advertising never convinced me. Unfortunately what happened was I got a job as a projectionist in the cinema and when everyone went out for their breaks they all sat around smoking cigarettes and eventually I was drawn in too. Old fashioned peer pressure. And once I'd started it was very hard to stop; and I tried everything. Gum, patches, hypnosis. Eventually it was just the thought that if I ever found myself stranded on a desert my first concern wouldn't be food or water but where the hell would I find a smoke? I'd have probably ended up trying to roll up bits of seaweed.

Nathan Heller said...

I've tried to stop twice and failed miserably (or joyfully, depending on perspective) each time. I was in the same boat... I didn't smoke for the first 17 years of my life and berated my dad for his nicotine habit, then as soon as I got to college I decided I wanted to be David Bowie after watching a Charlie Rose interview with him. Bowie can make a cigarette look like a sixth finger, he's so cool. Yes, that's right; I started smoking because I wanted to look like David Bowie talking to Charlie Rose.

The ads have really never had an effect on me, as far as cigarette ads go. But the anti-smoking ads have the opposite effect. I will reach for a pack every time one of those ads come on.


Samuli Ulmanen said...

The link to the exhibition isn't working (anymore). The correct URL should probably be "" (just substitute the 'www' with 'lane').

Anyhow, I think its a time for a smoke...

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