Thursday, May 23, 2013

I pity the fool who smokes Camels

camel ad 1954

This was the back cover of the September, 1954 Popular Science.

Given what we know today and current attitudes about smoking, it’s hard to read these testimonials and believe these people weren’t complete morons.

But they weren’t. The just believed what the tobacco companies told them about health and their addiction.

I started smoking in 1961 – my junior year of high school and continued for about 15 years off and on – mostly on. Smoking-related cancer of the larynx cost my dad his voice when he was in his 60s. Happily, both of my parents were able to quit and spent their twilight years smoke-free.

I smoked the occasional pack of Camels, but my preferred brand from college onward was Viceroy. I was up to three packs a day when I quit around 1978.

Smoking is a brutally stupid habit. I was reminded of that last evening when the prospective buyer of my del Sol and his daughter returned from a test ride and appeared in the driveway, both smoking cigarettes. I don’t know if they smoked in the car or not, but I’m glad I sent them off on their ride with the roof panel stowed in the trunk.

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