Vintage ads are simple, yet pleasant and fun to see. They also seem truly naïve, from our ‘more advanced’ point of view. The vintage tobacco ads presented below are a good example of this kind of naivity .There was a time when there was no banning regarding the tobacco ads. When cigars companies could advertise their products in any possible way, including children, seniors and even Santa Clause in their posters! Here are 10 of these tobacco vintage ads that would seem shocking to us, but were ordinary back then:

1. Doctor’s prescription

what docotr orders

This ad comes from 1918. It features a patient whose doctor recommends him to smoke ‘light’ cigars instead of heavy ones. “Nonsense man! I he rejoined. I said heavy cigars. This is light and mild, and you can smoke as many as you wish. Take one, it’s a Ricoro!”

2. Why women smoke

tobacco ad

Vintage ads are beautiful and elegant. Here is a sample of such an ad, featuring a stylish woman of the 30s. “I really don’t know if I should smoke …but my brothers and my sweet-heart smoke and it does give me a lot of pleasure.” Life was much simpler back then, wasn’t it?

3. A gift for daddy

a gift for daddy

Here is another tobacco ad that would be disturbing for us: kids shopping for cigars as a Christmas gift for their father. In those innocent times, it seemed no harm showing such an image. Here’s how they put  it: “…and, of course,   a man needn’t to inhale to enjoy them”. Yeah, right!

4. Keep ’em satisfied!

keep 'em satisfied

This poster is featuring a nurse sharing cigars to soldiers during the World War II. For a more powerful effect, the nurse is also a famous actress, Claudette Colbert. Just what the doctor ordered, again.

5.  Doctors smoke Camels

tobacco ad

Camel created a series of posters in which doctors had the main role.  “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”, they say . Moreover, a small girl is also pictured in this ad. How many things could be wrong in a single image?!

6. Santa is smoking


If good old Santa smokes, then it should be nothing wrong with it, right? Wrong! But as far as they knew back then, the worst thing that could happen was a throat irritation.

7. Baby and cigars

baby with cigars

Today, as you know, cigar advertisements are banned. But even if they weren’t, placing a baby in a tobacco ad would be a big NO. Back in the 50s, things were much different. Maybe this ad was even successful.

8. Cigars, children’s favorite toy!

daddy's favorites

This vintage ad is even more disturbing than the previous one. The child is surrounded by toys, but he is playing with…daddy’s favorite cigars! Well, why not! Cancer was not an issue back then, nor were the other evil effects of smoking.

9.  Old lady trying her first cigar

old lady

Senior citizens were not ignored. Why shouldn’t they smoke, after all? This old lady is about to ‘try’ a Chesterfield. However, this image is somewhat cute. It may be the “Land sakes!” effect…

10. Nurseries are not excluded

This is one of the most inappropriate tobacco vintage ads ever! There is simply wrong to place cigars and cigar ash in the same room with a newborn! Apparently, there is nothing the tobacco companies won’t promote in order to see their products selling!

photo credits:

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