Outrageous vintage cigarette ads
In this 1931 ad, an ear, nose and throat doctor holding a "germ-proof" pack of Camel cigarettes attests to the brand's ability to filter the "peppery dust . . . that makes you cough."
In 1962 the Royal College of Physicians in England issued the first major report warning of smoking's dangers. Two years later, the U.S. Surgeon General issued its own report on health risks from smoking. It led to Congress passing a law requiring warning labels on tobacco products (which President Johnson signed on July 27, 1965) and, eventually, imposing tighter restrictions on cigarette advertising in print and broadcasting.
But before those restrictive laws took effect, cigarette manufacturers' ads blew smoke about the health hazards. Some even featured doctors selling the medicinal effects of smoking.
Explore our gallery of ads, from the collection of Stanford School of Medicine.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
Goods For What Ails You
This 1881 Wilcox & Co. ad for Cigares De Joy makes the claim that they benefit those suffering from "asthma, cough bronchitis, hay-fever, influenza, and shortness of breath."
A Cure For Asthma
This 1890 ad for Dr. Batty's Asthma Cigarettes warns against administering them to your kids unless they are at least six years old.
This 1930 Luckies ad featuring a reassuringly jovial doctor was part of the brand's campaign suggesting that "20,679 physicians" had deemed Lucky Strike cigarettes to be "less irritating."
In this 1930 ad, Dr. G. Edward Roehrig, a Los Angeles physician, endorsed Thomson's Mell-o-well cigars as a "health cigar" that would remove such irritants as "nicotines, glycerides, albuminoids and carbons -- dangerous when used to excess by those who are physically below par."
Dr. Roehrig died in 1938 from lung cancer.
The mirror-wielding dentist exudes authority about the medical advantages of Viceroy cigarettes in this 1949 ad.
A Word Of Advice
This 1946 Camels ad used the idea of surveys by an "independent research organization" to promote the idea that more physicians smoke Camels than other brands. Readers who may have been doubtful were assured the research featured "actual statements from doctors themselves. Figures were checked and re-checked."
What's Secondhand Smoke?
This 1951 Marlboro ad both pours on the kitsch with a cute baby, and lays on the parental guilt ("Just one question, Mom: Can you afford not to smoke?").
Kids + Cigs = Cute
St. Dunstan's cigarettes' charity for war veterans may have been the feel-good message of this 1922 British ad, but watching a tyke light up is anything but feel-good.
Cigarette ads featuring the kid-friendly figure of Santa Claus have been numerous, including this 1920 ad for Murad.
Power Of Positive Thinking
This 1951 Philip Morris ad targeting female smokers asks supporters of the nascent women's liberation movement to think (and smoke) for themselves.
Smoking Kills (others)!
While cigarette manufacturers' ads avoided the personal harm to come from smoking, Allstate insurance wasn't averse to using cigarettes as a tool of distracted driving in this 1940 advertisement, whose story tells of a driver rummaging in his pocket for a light only to run down a little girl. See? Cigarettes are hazardous to the health of those who get in your way.
Celebrity Sales Pitches
Countless movie stars and celebrities have promoted smoking in ads and commercials, so it's not surprising that some suffered smoking-related cancers and other ailments, such as (clockwise from top left) Betty Grable (lung cancer), Spencer Tracy (heart disease), Barbara Stanwyck (congestive heart failure), Louis Armstrong (heart attack), Susan Hayward (lung and brain cancer), and John Wayne (lost a lung to cancer).
Track star and Olympic athlete Jesse Owens promoted White Owl cigars in this undated ad. In 1980 he died of lung cancer.
Back To The Stone Age
The animated stars of "The Flintstones" also shilled Winston cigarettes (an early sponsor of the show) in a series of cartoon commercials in the 1960s. At far left is a Hanna-Barbera production cel from a 1960 commercial featuring Fred Flintstone lighting up with Stone-Age technology.
Doctor On Call
Even in this ad, from as recent as 1993, a white coat-wearing model hawks Kool cigarettes, continuing the premise of medical backing.
In an example of ads claiming scientific proof of the healthfulness of their products, this 1931 Chesterfield advertisement says it has on good authority that "Chesterfield cigarettes are just as pure as the water you drink."
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