The other day as I was driving to my midtown office, I saw not one, not two but three different people toss their lit cigarettes out of their car. On the way home I saw yet another person do it. That is four fire hazards that I saw in less than three hours. I do care about Arizona and know tossing out a lit cigarette is a potential fire hazard. In fact, the infraction in tossing out a lit cigarette in Arizona is a Class 3 misdemeanor and can carry a fine up to $500. It is too bad local authorities do not enforce this fire hazard here in “Blazing Arizona.” I imagine it would help us begin to get out of debt. Still, all this got me thinking …
Before the hazardous health effects of smoking were widely known, cigarette companies were able to advertise largely regulation-free. Sponsors used cigarette ads that featured endorsements from dentists, doctors, babies and even Santa Clause and in 1964 U.S. Surgeon General, Luther Terry released a report on smoking and health saying it was dangerous for our health and regulations began to appear. On an interesting note, in 1991 a study found Camel cigarettes mascot Joe Camel was more recognizable among five and six year olds than Mickey Mouse.
This proves how great cigarette ads were. Some of the ads were awesome. Five year olds loved them. These catchy ads stuck in your mind like tar stuck on your lungs. I think one of my favorite ads is a picture of a doctor smoking a cigarette and the caption says, “More Doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” I do believe the makers of Kool will disagree because their ad said, “4 out of 5 doctors who smoke, smoke Kools.” Advertisers thought L & M Cigarettes were “Just what the doctor ordered.” So it becomes confusing as to which cigarette doctors recommended the most.
Some of the slogans I recall are were, “Come up to – KOOL.” If you wanted to be cool surely you needed to smoke Kools and when I first started to smoke, Kools was what I started with however, when I quit smoking over six years ago, I was smoking what doctors recommended the most and that was Camels.
I was rather fond of Viginia Slims and the saying, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” One that stays in the forefront of my mind was, “Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch.” There stood someone with a black eye, I recall my cousin and I pretended to smoke a cigarette and painted a black eye on ourselves. We should have been in commercials!
There were some great jingles that were created for cigarette advertizing. Now let us clear our throats and sing the following, “Have-a-Lark Have-a-Lark Have-a-Lark today!” How about “Winston tastes good like a (snap, snap) cigarette should!” These are jingles remain in my head and I sometimes find myself singing them along with other old jingles of my past.
Other great one-liners I recall include; “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” or “Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro Country.” On the more feminine the makers of Eve cigarettes came up with “The first truly feminine cigarette–almost as pretty as you are.” I am sure every woman loved to know that a cigarette was almost as pretty as she was. No doubt women loved being compared to a cigarette. Still, one of my favorites and many comedians have had a blast with the makers of Silva Thins and their slogan was, “Long and lean that’s the way I like things.”
Stay tuned next week when we tackle commercials such as “you’ll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.” I do love the old ads. What was a cigarette commercial that stood out in your mind?