Smoking, then and now

Presently, 17.8% of Americans smoke cigarettes. Less than 1 in 5.

Remember the good old days when everyone smoked and they could smoke any where? You could smoke at your desk. You could smoke in restaurants and bars. You could smoke everywhere. You could provably even smoke in movie theaters, but no one did or it would make it difficult to see the picture. But you could smoke in the lobby.

Everyone smoked. Just watch any movie from the ’40s. Everyone has one lit. They talked with it dangling from their lips. They held it in their hand. There was always one burning in a ashtray.

Smoking was ingrained in our culture. When you first met someone, the first thing you did was offer them a smoke. Gentlemen always lit a woman’s cigarette.

Advertising was everywhere. TV. Magazines. Newspapers. Radio. Even books had an insert extolling the benefits of one brand or another.

Ads for cigarettes were some of the more memorable written. Who can forget “Call for Phillip Morris!” here with Desi and Lucy promoting them.

Remember the Marlboro man?

And the jingles were some of the best ever written. “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” (and most of us were willing to forgive the bad grammar).

OK, that didn’t have the “Winston tastes good” jingle. This one does, and it also shows how much fun you can have smoking. Almost as much fun as drinking beer!

Here’s another memorable jingle: “You can take Salem out of the country, BUT! You can’t take the country out of Salem.” Whatever the hell that means.

“Springtime, it happens every Salem.” And it has natural menthol, not that artificial stuff!

And not only does Newport taste smoother, but the TV characters jump right out into your living room!

As Kool as a breath of fresh air.

And forget about all the nonsense about Surgeon General warnings, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.

And of course, even the Flintstones got into the act!

So what happened? How did cigarettes go from being so popular, enjoyed by millions to this, where barely 1 in 5 Americans smoke?

A bunch of busy bodies, that’s what. There were maybe two or three non-smokers in America, but they started a grass roots campaign spreading lies and misconceptions about cigarettes. That they caused cancer. Really? What about people who have never smoked who get cancer? Huh? That it puts you in an early grave? Explain those people in their 90s who smoked then. That it gives you bad breath. Obviously you missed the part about menthol.

So cigarettes, once the relaxing, delicious 5 minute break has become banned almost everywhere. Smokers, once thought of sexy and suave, are considered pariahs.

I hope you non-smokers are happy. You’ve destroyed an entire, beautiful life style.

-30-

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2 thoughts on “Smoking, then and now

  1. *sigh*

    It was a great time. And I miss it. I loved my cigarettes. Sometimes I even loved my pipe. I never really loved cigars, but when I went stream fishing they sure kept the mosquitoes away.

    I’ve been clean over five years now, but if the Death Comet was approaching, I’d buy a carton, sit on a park bench, and wait for it.

    I’m not positive I’d light one up though.

    Maybe at the last minute.

    • Next summer will be 20 years for me. I never did get into a pipe, although i tried. And there was a period after I gave up cigs that i tried cigars, but i didnt smoke them but once a week on a saturday evening and Id always get a nauseaus nicotine rush, so i gave them up too. I still miss smoking. I really did like the taste and the warm feeling as it filled your lungs. I smoked Old Gold. They had coupons you’d save and then buy cool items from their catalog.

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