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The history of tobacco creativity.

Creativity and ingenuity have never been alien to tobacco marketers. Not only that, but tobacco marketers are the only ones who periodically feel the pressure of a whole bunch of different organizations wanting a piece of the “tobacco pie”. In previous reviews I have written about how some brands have marketed by improving tobacco content and how non-tobacco brands have used this same “tobacco pie” for their own advertising. Today we will consider other inventions of tobacco companies, which have always found a way out of almost any situation.

From time to time on the Internet there are angry notes about the so-called “candy cigarettes”, they say taught to tobacco children from childhood! Indeed, there was a time in the history of tobacco, but no one set a goal to accustom children to the cigarette. Just such candy and chewing gum were widely known in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when tobacco was not so critical, and the form factor of a cigarette was familiar.

In this case, it’s more of a promotion of these very candy makers, at the expense of tobacco makers, than the other way around. And the image of a child smoking, not possible now, was considered only a funny, cute joke, as evidenced by the mass of postcards of those days. But when one looks at it from the 21st century the verdict is one – tobacco manufacturers “prepared the young generation” through sweets =)

By the way, candy isn’t the only product that enjoyed tobacco makers’ fame for free. Here is, for example, “product #2”, in a pack, reminiscent of Marlboro =) The size of the pack was the same as a cigarette pack, and they were sold through vending machines. It was convenient and practical. And by the way, the sample in the photo is dated 1992. Not that long ago.

Although it was in the middle of the 20th century that the most tobacco brands that are now simply not possible were found. So, few people know that even the famous Walt Disney empire had its own tobacco brands. For example, Virginia Ovals cigarettes, with the logo of the “children’s empire”, were sold up until the 1980s and not at all as souvenir products. And it was normal, because children in the amusement park mostly came with adults.

And the founding father of the empire, Walt Disney, has always been an avid pipe smoker, as evidenced by the weight of the evidence of his closest colleagues. Not only that, there was a branded tobacco store on the grounds of Disney Park, practically from the moment it was built. And that was fine. It only looks wild now.

And speaking of “branded” cigarettes, they were even in prisons! True, they were more or less widespread only in U.S. penitentiaries.

But let’s return directly to the ideas of tobacco manufacturers. One of the areas of promotion, of course, was the idea of improving the comfort of smoking. Although what could be invented here? Self-lighting cigarettes! This idea has been stirring minds since the 1880s and there were even patents for some inventions, but not many went into commercial production.

Advertising of Autolite and Monolite cigarettes, 1911.

Only American brands SpotLight, Monolite and Autolite, and Italian cigarettes Galilei Marconi have reached more or less mass production. All the same, the sulfur head in the cigarette, though it allowed to do without matches, but it hardly added a pleasant taste notes to the smoke.

More Cigarette Advertisement, 1980

Much more has been given to tobacco brands to stand out from their competitors by human paranoia. Some of the trends of those pens still work today. And first among them is the fire hazard of cigarettes. In fact, the responsibility for this factor is entirely on the smoker himself, but they are stubbornly trying to shift it to cigarette manufacturers. And they take advantage of it =) So probably few people know, but the famous cigarettes More were just self-extinguishing. If you leave such a cigarette unextinguished in an ashtray, it will extinguish on its own after a while, not smoldering to the filter.

Pack of Sherman’s MCD cigarettes, early 1980s.

Sherman’s MCD is another brand of cigarettes that successfully exploited the theme of fire safety. This cigarette package contained a long legend, which explains in detail why these cigarettes are safe. The fact that Sherman’s MCD cigarettes are premium and made without any additives, including saltpeter in the cigarette paper. Thanks to all this, cigarettes not only extinguished on their own, they also retained their original flavor. Unless, of course, the Bohemians were in the habit of smoking “cigarette butts” =)

But the most popular topic was, of course, smokers’ fears about their own health and the possible harm of nicotine doses. Yes, for a long time it was thought that it was nicotine, not tar and a lot of other substances, that caused harm to smokers. As a direct consequence, there have been periodically appeared just brands with reduced nicotine content. Such cigarettes were not in great demand among the smoking public and their periodic appearance left a mark in tobacco history, but not a significant one.

Much more interesting were Denicotized cigarettes, such as Next De-Nic and Benson and Hedges De-Nic. The tobacco for these cigarettes was subjected to a process similar to the removal of caffeine from coffee beans in the manufacture of surrogate coffee. Back in the 1990’s, Philip Morris produced denatured Next De-Nic, and even provided the results of studies of the impact of such cigarettes on the human body. For example, PM specialists stated that even when smoking these cigarettes for a long time, the smoker did not detect any changes in the ECG.

Advertising for Lark cigarettes, 1960.

And the most popular promotional theme that persists to this day was, of course, cigarette filters. Though how much can you think of there? Acetate fiber… Well, maybe in combination with charcoal chips. What else? But in fact, the topic of cigarette smoke filtration is very broad and interesting, deserving a separate topic. Besides, it has already been started in the post “History of Cigarette Filter” and will be continued in the very near future.

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