FOR THE FIRST half of the 20th century, tobacco advertising was virtually unregulated. In that environment, companies used cigarette spokespeople that are laughable to modern audiences. Even doctors and babies sold cigarettes.
Early 20th century tobacco ads, for example, claimed that cigarettes were a cure-all product that could help smokers lose weight and ease the symptoms of asthma.
In the 1960s consumers became more aware that smoking leads to cancer, and in 1965 US legislation was passed which mandated that cigarette packs and advertisements carry warnings.
More recently, a number of state authorities and governments – including Ireland’s – have banned smoking in certain places such as pubs and clubs, or have seriously clamped down on the industry’s advertising.
Here are some of the ads which were used to promote smoking in the US before that 1965 legislation: