Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gulp it down

The ad says: A frank discussion at last on a subject that has long been taboo. The elegant fellow is asking his sophisticated but timid lady friend if she swallows it. Cigarette smoke, that is.

Today, we have extravagant TV publicity for perfumes and all kinds of body-oriented products. We've become blasé about what and just how much we're being asked to swallow. But it would be irreligious if ever we were to forget the glorious days of cigarette publicity.

The idea of believing in yourself implied, of course, that you should pay no attention to annoying people who claim that smoking might be a terrible danger. For example: What's all the talk about plutonium?

Click the banner to access a delightful collection of smoking ads assembled by the faculty of medicine of Stanford University.


  1. What a great site. Mind you, nowadays it looks a bit funny, all these doctors and nurses on the ads...

  2. Great stuff - and I was especially pleased to find advertisements for my all-time favourites: Abdullah. Years ago these were nearly always my cigarette of choice - on pay-day. What I wouldn't pay now for a box of Abdullah No 11 - gold-tipped Egyptian ovals - and that ad was true: a cooler,smoother tastier cigarette never existed!

    Sadly now I like 20,000-odd doctors have to smoke Camels.

  3. Back in my student days in Sydney, I was enraptured by French Gauloises. Few tobacconists stocked them. In student pubs, you could detect Gauloises smokers by the aroma of their exhalation. [I'm reminded of the curious words of David Lange, New Zealand's prime minister during the Rainbow Warrior affair, who once suggested that French intruders in his sacred land, such as Alain Mafart, might be detected by the garlic smell of their breath.] Once in Paris, I advanced to Gitanes and Celtiques. Today, whenever I visit the nearby town of Saint-Marcellin, which was once a major producer of French tobacco, I drive past one of the last surviving tobacco farms, in the commune of La Sône. It's undeniable that the concept of smoking remains, for people of my generation [and apparently for many younger individuals such as Corina], a highly personal and emotional activity, full of charming memories... like Proust's famous madeleines.