“Don’t Smoke–Unless You Like It”: A 1950s Take on Smoking

I recently stumbled across this 1950s case study on smoking online. What caught my attention the most was a view point on smoking that is drastically different from current beliefs on the topic (at least the televised beliefs). Now I'm not going to tell you whether or not you should smoke, that's not the point. I just thought that the way this case study discusses their case against anti-smoking was unlike anything I've ever heard before. In case you are wondering, I personally do not smoke. Below are some notable quotes from the study: "For centuries tobacco has brought mankind peace and cheer. Now some scientists say smoking is dangerous. But are their findings conclusive? The answer is No." "For more than 400 years, ever since the first paleface was lulled toward a treaty by an Indian peace pipe, tobacco has been decried as a moral and a physical menace." "Newspapers, the radio and television have picked up these reports and spread them broadcast. Condensing and oversimplifying them—with the ifs, ands and buts omitted—they have made smoking look, to many, like a dangerous habit indeed." "Millions of us have been led to worry whether the innocent-looking white tubes we casually light and puff are not really lethal weapons, slowly poisoning our systems, giving rise to ulcers, heart troubles, circulatory diseases, tuberculosis and even cancer." They make it seem so safe don't they? This led me to think about the differences between smoking advertisements in the 1950s and advertisements today. Check out some examples below:
1953 Pall Mall
1950 Marlboro Ad
I don't think there were any anti-smoking ads in the 1950s. I certainly couldn't find any. Below are some anti-smoking graphics from the noughties (2000s): Whether you smoke or not you have to admit the graphics are both very creative and well done. When I searched online for "Smoking Advertisements 2010" I only found anti-smoking advertisements. I know that cigarette companies still advertise, but the anti-smoking movement is more prominent today. My, how things have changed over the years. I just thought about this. How many of you remember this commercial?

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