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:
1 x creepy baby.
So apparently very literal jokes were cool in the late ’90s.
Check out all the double negatives flying around in the Surgeon General’s Warning in the bottom left hand corner.
1. I fear that camel.
2. What is a Surgeon General?
So ’80s cigarette ads had a Ralph Lauren vibe.
And they were quite misogynistic.
Featuring: a very pensive female companion.
“They’re not for everyone, but they could be for you.”
It’s honest, at least.
Remember the Marlboro man? He was awesome.
Kent smokes. That’s where it’s at. End of. No discussion. There’s no arguing with that kind of logic.
And smoking is a… spring thing?
Out of smoking and not smoking, it feels like this chick’s made the wrong decision.
Ah, boobs and Beethoven. A classic combo.
Grammatically, this one’s… interesting.
Because “neat and clean” are such excellent criteria for things. For what? You know, things.
This guy knows how women work.
Hint: it’s via blowing in faces.
But who is Philip Morris?
Oh, he’s the naturally gentle and mild guy. Obvs.
Ah, the famous cigarette hangover. Thank God everyone’s favorite gentle and mild bro has sorted that one out.
No bits in the mouth. Mmmm… delish.
It makes me really sad that Santa’s smoking, but I’m pleased he’s guarded against throat-scratch.
THIS IS SO CREEPY. YOU CAN’T USE A BABY TO ADVERTISE CIGARETTES. LEAVE BABIES ALONE.
Ah, the microscope. A classic cigarette inspection tool.
A cheeky bit of wishbone-based advertising.
Yeah, because more people smoke them, they’re cool. Didn’t your Mom ever teach you that following the crowd is cool?
Is it just me, or is the festive scene entirely unrelated to the cigarettes?
You know WORLD-FAMOUS STARS? You should just do what they do.
Heeeeey, the WORLD-FAMOUS STARS are back.
So, I’m curious. How did they know what doctors were smoking?
A cigarette-themed acrostic. Lovely.
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?”
This is oddly phallic.
A cheerful wartime bros pic.
Bold claims from a man who appears to be trying to rhyme “mile” and “Camel” with little success.
And some lies from this chick.
A clothing-cigarette combo deal. Two birds with one stone, and all that. Sure.
Kind to your throat. Can’t argue with that.
Hate to break it to you, but skiing and smoking won’t work.
No, Santa. Stop it. Now.
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.”
I don’t think the respiratory system = the digestive system. Soz.
She’s not my best friend.
And neither is she.
Physicians: the obvious authority when it comes to smoking.
RE the “slender figure” thing, is it just me who thinks they could have chosen a slimmer guy?
Some strong Math going on in this one. 9/10.
“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.”
I like lady with a lamp.
There’s something you’ll like. We can’t tell you what. But there is.
This flapper knows the aromas she likes.
Using a creepy picture of a red-haired child doesn’t feel like an obvious way to advertise smoking, but sure.
One for the smokers who like their tobacco imported by children in a canoe.
And a fat man to round it all off.