15 Old-Timey Cigarette Ads Clearly Directed at Children

15 Old-Timey Cigarette Ads Clearly Directed at Children

I know this is a pretty bold statement, but I’ve recently started to suspect that tobacco companies haven’t always had our best interests at heart. I’ve been binging The Jack Benny Program on YouTube, and not only are there continuous references to their sponsor Lucky Strike, but a lot of the in-program commercials look like they’re specifically targeting children. 

I’ve posted a bunch of them below, along with other cigarette ads that look like they were definitely intended for kids.

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‘Be Happy — Go Lucky!’

This ad from The Jack Benny Program features a cartoon man getting his Lucky Strike lit by an adorable cartoon bird before going on a bunch of fun adventures like skiing and horseback riding.

‘As Cool and as Clean as a Breath of Fresh Air’

This ad for Kool cigarettes starred an adorable ice-skating penguin that looks a lot like Chilly Willy from Woody Woodpecker.

‘Luckies Taste Better!’

This cartoon man was named “Happy Joe Lucky,” and he was in a number of Lucky Strike ads back in the day.

‘It’s a Matter of Taste’

They didn’t just use cartoons to market to kids. This German ad for Camel starred weird-looking camel puppets.

‘The King Who Has Everything’

This cartoon ad stars The Chesterfield King, “the king who has everything” — including a tumor in his right lung.

‘True Tobacco Taste’

For Tareyton cigarettes, there was a Disney-Princess-looking bandleader who sang a catchy tune about Tareyton’s filter tips.

‘See How Mild a Cigarette Can Be’

Another Camel ad. This one has water-skiing teens smoking cigarettes.

‘Mild and Juicy’

For a slight change of pace, here are some funny talking cows for Bull of the Woods Chewing Tobacco. 

‘Take the Camel 30-Day Test, and You’ll See’

This Camel ad, which features a catchy tune played by a cartoon pianist, also bragged about how Camel was sending free cigarettes to various hospitals for servicepeople and veterans. 

‘Luckies Taste Better’

Another Lucky Strike ad — this one with a singing cartoon horse — from The Jack Benny Program.

‘Smoke Kool Kool Kool’

Here’s that penguin again. Now, he’s building a snowman. Isn’t he adorable as he peddles lung cancer to children?

‘They Look So Handsome Under Christmas Trees’

Celebrity endorsements are one thing, but having a singing Santa Claus puppet talking about how Camels are the “nation’s favorite cigarettes” is quite another.

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