History’s Most Ridiculous Cigarette Ads

Published January 20, 2014
Updated March 1, 2018

By now, it’s pretty clear that paying to inhale carcinogens on a regular basis is not a decision made with much consideration for our lungs, wallets and loved ones. Anti-smoking ads are everywhere.

But over the last century and before we knew the many dangers of smoking cigarettes, puffing on a cancer stick was a hobby enjoyed and encouraged by everyone from relaxing royals to sultry saxophonists. Here are some of history’s most absurd cigarette ads:

Cigarette Ads Benson
Source: Anorak

Marlboro Mom
Source: Clive White

Cigarette Ads Virginia Slims
Source: Old Paper

Tareyton Twins Ad
Source: Flickr

Smart Cookie Cartoon
Source: Blogspot

Salem Refresh Ad
Source: Blogspot

Russian Smoking Ad
Source: Zamantika

Murad Dancers

Murad Cigarettes

Cigarette Ads Lucky Strike
Source: Lucky Strike

Hibiki Ad
Source: Diesel Punks

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.