Vintage Cigarette Ads

Go back just one generation and you're in an alternative universe where smoking was promoted as a suitable pass time for doctors, and a young Ronald Reagan claimed he would send cigarettes to his friends at Christmas.
However, a backlash was brewing even while these glamorous posters were in their heyday. In 1962 the Royal College of Physicians were recommending stricter laws on the sale and advertising of tobacco and TV adverts were banned by 1965.

In 1971 the first health warnings appeared on cigarette packets and by 1986 you could no longer show a person smoking on a tobacco advert. A general advertising ban came into force in 2003.

United Kingdom

In 1971, tobacco companies printed on the left side of cigarette packets "WARNING by H.M. Government, SMOKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH".
In 1991, the E.U. tightened laws on tobacco warnings. "TOBACCO SERIOUSLY DAMAGES HEALTH" was printed on the front of all tobacco packs. An additional warning was also printed on the reverse of cigarette packs.

Cigarette pack in the United Kingdom.
In 2003, new E.U. regulations required one of the following general warnings must be displayed, covering at least 30% of the surface of the pack:
  • Smoking kills
  • Smoking seriously harms you and others around you

Additionally, one of the following additional warnings must be displayed, covering at least 40% of the surface of the pack:
  • Smokers die younger
  • Smoking clogs the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes
  • Smoking causes fatal lung cancer
  • Smoking when pregnant harms your baby
  • Protect children: don't make them breathe your smoke
  • Your doctor or your pharmacist can help you stop smoking
  • Smoking is highly addictive, don't start
  • Stopping smoking reduces the risk of fatal heart and lung diseases
  • Smoking can cause a slow and painful death
  • Get help to stop smoking: [telephone]/[postal address]/[internet address]/consult your doctor/pharmacist
  • Smoking may reduce the blood flow and cause impotence
  • Smoking causes ageing of the skin
  • Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility
  • Smoke contains benzene, nitrosamines, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide
From October 2008, all cigarette products manufactured would carry picture warnings to the reverse. Every pack would have one of these warnings by October 2009.

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