Last year, I was at the Kota Kinabalu airport in Malaysia. I was jolted to a nightmarish harsh reality at the airport gift shop by the warning labels of cigarette cartons. They told the tale of smoking horrors -the likes which I’ve seen anywhere else in the world. For example, here’s a typical Malaysian cigarette warnings with grotesque imagery that you can never unsee. (I couldn’t bring myself to print some of the more disgusting cigarette packaging examples: Shriveled fetus, anyone?)
This display of human horrors associated with cigarette smoking is a far cry from the smoking ads of yesteryear:
I don’t know what they were smoking back then, but apparently doctors were recommending a good, healthy cigarette. According to the ad, “It’s the peppery dust left in tobacco by inefficient cleaning methods that makes you cough.” The cpy under the logo reads “Mild… No cigaretty after-taste.” That’s right:cigaretty after-taste was the main concern with cancer sticks.
Vintage cigarette TV ads sang the same tune. Apparently in 1949’s, more doctors smoked Camels than any other cigarette:
What cigarette do you smoke, doctor? Huh? Do you hear me doctor? I’m talking to you! This commercial makes smoking seem so glamorous – and excellent to hear that smoking is good for your throat.
Even hot, retro babes loved smoking. Check out this TV commercial from the innocent days of smoking. Oh yeah, Lady Be Cool – you’re my lady!:
No punches are pulled in modern-era smoking ads. Perhaps Lady Be Cool is now one of the new crop of anti-smoking ads. My guess she is the blond woman with the wig. Oh yes, how the times have changed.