Vintage advertisements for cigarettes are so outrageous, so ridiculous, and so blatantly harmful that they almost seem unreal. It's almost like they're a joke that no one could have possibly taken seriously. Except they did.
It's hard to imagine a time when anyone looked at ads for cigarettes and saw anything more than a highly addictive, extremely dangerous product. But like many other items that we now know can kill us (lead in lipstick, mercury in skin cream, pep pills), during the long-ago time before the Internet (and common sense), consumers were much more likely to believe the advertisements being directed at them.
That's the genius behind all the celebrity endorsed cigarettes (Ronald Reagan for Chesterfields!) and brands using pictures of doctors and dentists to deceive customers into thinking cigarettes weren't bad for them. And of course, who can forget all the cartoon mascots (the Flinstones, Joe Camel, a Penguin) making cigarettes more appealing to kids?
These old smoking ads and vintage smoking posters make cigarettes look cool, edgy, fun – you name it. Looking at them now is outlandish because there's no way advertisers could ever get away with it today. Check out these outrageous vintage cigarette ads, and be sure to vote up the ones that are the most absurd and you could never imagine seeing these days.