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John Wayne

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The Golden Era of Cigarette Ads

October 22, 2017

When Sir Walter Raleigh helped to popularize tobacco during the 16th century, he probably had no idea that he would be responsible for one of the largest and most profitable advertising campaigns in the history of Madison Avenue. Campaigns that would see a single product go from lifestyle enhancement to a pariah of the medical community within a matter of years.

Give Me Your Young at Heart

Before their negative association with health, cigarettes were marketed to successful young men and women as a way to relax and get more out of life.  Advertisements were filled with virile, athletic men and women prancing around tennis courts in snow-white shorts exclaiming,

“WHAT A DAY… what a game… what a cigarette! Why is Lucky so much a part of moments like this?”

Like any other product that clamored for the consumer’s attention, the multi-million dollar tobacco industry embarked on a constantly evolving campaign to come up with original reasons why smokers should buy their brand of cigarettes over the others: read more

All Entries Health Humor

Smoke ‘Em if Ya Got ‘Em

March 11, 2016

When I was sixteen, my biggest goal in life was to learn how to smoke. Not because I thought it was particularly good for me, but because hanging around a street corner, sucking on a cigarette butt commanded just about as much respect as any post-pubescent male could expect out of life. And, who wouldn’t respect someone for spending their allowance on something that was not only disgusting, but almost guaranteed to kill them, turn their teeth yellow, give them bad breath and make their clothes reek?

Lighting up my first cigarette was everything I thought it would be and more – sort of like circling my lips around the exhaust pipe of an 18-wheeler as the driver stepped on the gas. The hot fumes singed the lining of my throat and fried my palate as they scorched their way to my lungs. I loved it.

When I enlisted in the Navy, I found that smoking cigarettes was essential to survival. Several times a day, the drill instructor would yell out, “Smoke break. Smoke ’em if ya got ’em.” If you “didn’t got ’em,” he’d soon find some distasteful task for you to do like scrubbing the inside of garbage cans, so everyone smoked. read more

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