From the recent slogan “Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health” to the even more recent “Smoking Kills,” warnings against tobacco consumption have become more stringent.
Digging deeper into the past, one would see a positive trend. Cigarette advertisements from as early as the 1940s had slogans that were not just hard-selling, but fallacious. The Craven A brand, for example, a brand that has lost its top-grossing status in the worldwide market, had long been claiming that their cigarettes “won’t affect the throat.” With or without the intention to mislead, the people behind their advertising efforts simply did not fully understand the health risks of smoking.
And during that time, who did? Such careless slogans were written before facts about smoking and its effects on human health were established. Thankfully, once the danger posed by the thousands of toxic chemicals packed in one stick of cigarette was thoroughly studied and documented, laws were legislated to ensure that smokers were properly as well as severely warned.
Vintage tobacco ads often depicted their products in a healthy light, such as being consumed while engaged in physical activity, or with the company of children. Imagine if these strategies were used today. Pro-health groups and passionate civilians will most probably see to the tobacco companies’ demise.