54 Vintage Tobacco Ads

But remember, kids, smoking kills.

So these days the only smoking adverts you’re likely to see are graphic lung cancer warnings on cigarette packets. But it wasn’t always like that. Back in the day, everyone from Santa to Bill Crosby was advertising them. Herewith, our pick of the best:

ID: 1147761

54. 2000

1 x creepy baby.

ID: 1147358

53. 1997

So apparently very literal jokes were cool in the late ’90s.

ID: 1147355

52. 1993

Check out all the double negatives flying around in the Surgeon General’s Warning in the bottom left hand corner.

ID: 1147356

51. 1992

Two things:
1. I fear that camel.
2. What is a Surgeon General?

ID: 1147351

50. 1985

So ’80s cigarette ads had a Ralph Lauren vibe.

ID: 1147343

49. 1983

And they were quite misogynistic.

ID: 1147340

48. 1974

Featuring: a very pensive female companion.

ID: 1146784

47. 1973

“They’re not for everyone, but they could be for you.”
It’s honest, at least.

ID: 1146818

46. 1972

Remember the Marlboro man? He was awesome.

ID: 1146895

45. 1970

Kent smokes. That’s where it’s at. End of. No discussion. There’s no arguing with that kind of logic.

ID: 1147310

44. 1969

And smoking is a… spring thing?

ID: 1147304

43. 1967

Out of smoking and not smoking, it feels like this chick’s made the wrong decision.

ID: 1146786

42. 1967

Ah, boobs and Beethoven. A classic combo.

ID: 1146782

41. 1963

Grammatically, this one’s… interesting.

ID: 1146800

40. 1961

Because “neat and clean” are such excellent criteria for things. For what? You know, things.

ID: 1146776

39. 1955

This guy knows how women work.
Hint: it’s via blowing in faces.

ID: 1146775

38. 1955

But who is Philip Morris?

ID: 1147005

37. 1955

Oh, he’s the naturally gentle and mild guy. Obvs.

ID: 1146828

36. 1952

Um, OK.

ID: 1146806

35. 1952

Ah, the famous cigarette hangover. Thank God everyone’s favorite gentle and mild bro has sorted that one out.

ID: 1147316

34. 1952

No bits in the mouth. Mmmm… delish.

ID: 1146877

33. 1951

It makes me really sad that Santa’s smoking, but I’m pleased he’s guarded against throat-scratch.

ID: 1146755

32. 1951


ID: 1146735

31. 1951

Ah, the microscope. A classic cigarette inspection tool.

ID: 1146759

30. 1951

A cheeky bit of wishbone-based advertising.

ID: 1146778

29. 1950

Yeah, because more people smoke them, they’re cool. Didn’t your Mom ever teach you that following the crowd is cool?

ID: 1146857

28. 1950

Is it just me, or is the festive scene entirely unrelated to the cigarettes?

ID: 1146989

27. 1950

You know WORLD-FAMOUS STARS? You should just do what they do.

ID: 1146986

26. 1949

Heeeeey, the WORLD-FAMOUS STARS are back.

ID: 1146861

25. 1946

So, I’m curious. How did they know what doctors were smoking?

ID: 1146722

24. 1946

A cigarette-themed acrostic. Lovely.

ID: 1146834

23. 1944

So what they’re saying is this: “Yes, we’re expensive. Yes, you’ll be able to find cheaper cigarettes. But just take our word for it and believe that our cigarettes are worth it. Please?”

ID: 1147307

22. 1942

This is oddly phallic.

ID: 1146883

21. 1941

A cheerful wartime bros pic.

ID: 1146941

20. 1940

Bold claims from a man who appears to be trying to rhyme “mile” and “Camel” with little success.

ID: 1147323

19. 1939

And some lies from this chick.

ID: 1146847

18. 1939

A clothing-cigarette combo deal. Two birds with one stone, and all that. Sure.

ID: 1146889

17. 1938

Kind to your throat. Can’t argue with that.

ID: 1146854

16. 1937

Hate to break it to you, but skiing and smoking won’t work.

ID: 1146802

15. 1936

No, Santa. Stop it. Now.

ID: 1146795

14. 1936

So I imagine the brainstorming meeting for this advert went something like this:
“Hey guys, we need to think outside the box here.”
“How about we use a sinister cartoon penguin and give him a bow and arrow.”
“Yes, a bird and archery combination is exactly what we need.”

ID: 1146948

13. 1936

I don’t think the respiratory system = the digestive system. Soz.

ID: 1146999

12. 1935

She’s not my best friend.

ID: 1146984

11. 1935

And neither is she.

ID: 1146789

10. 1930

Physicians: the obvious authority when it comes to smoking.

ID: 1146739

9. 1930

RE the “slender figure” thing, is it just me who thinks they could have chosen a slimmer guy?

ID: 1146870

8. 1930

Some strong Math going on in this one. 9/10.

ID: 1146772

7. 1929

“So if you had to say one thing about the men, what would it be?”
“They know a good smoke.”
“Let’s stick that on an advert.”

ID: 1146995

6. 1927

I like lady with a lamp.

ID: 1146745

5. 1920

There’s something you’ll like. We can’t tell you what. But there is.

ID: 1146981

4. 1920

This flapper knows the aromas she likes.

ID: 1146875

3. 1911

Using a creepy picture of a red-haired child doesn’t feel like an obvious way to advertise smoking, but sure.

ID: 1146791

2. 1900

One for the smokers who like their tobacco imported by children in a canoe.

ID: 1147325

1. 1900

And a fat man to round it all off.

ID: 1147326

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