By Sue Schuurman
FEBRUARY 1, 1999:
Tobacco advertising has come a long way, baby. The following
R.J. Reynolds ad from 1939 is inconceivable nowadays, with its
claims that you're doing your health a favor to light up a Camel.
Included are vignettes about a skyscraper window repairman, a
ship's captain, a housewife and a dog, variously attesting
to the nerve soothing, even rejuvenating effects of smoking. Rather
than the Surgeon General's warning, we read instead of the challenge
to "smoke 6 packs of Camels" to ascertain their worth.
Joe Camel, the banned cartoon character, seems tame by comparison.
"101 STORIES UP on the world's tallest building, Sidney
Evert swings in the wind with only a frail scaffold between him
and--well, it's 1100 feet to the street. His work is to repair
windows in the tower of the Empire State Building. Nerve straining,
you bet, but as Sid Evert says: 'A fellow with jumpy nerves wouldn't
last long on my job. So I ease the tension on my nerves whenever
I can. I let up--light up a Camel. I find Camels soothing to the
"TRAPPED ON A BLAZING WRECK, Captain Hans Milton displayed
courage and nerve-power that won him head-lines from coast to
coast. He says: 'On the schooner Pioneer, afire 400 miles
out of Halifax, we had a little food and water and some Camels.
Those Camels were a great comfort through the nerve strain of
worry and danger. It's a rule with me, whenever I feel my nerves
getting tense, keyed-up, to let up--light up a Camel."
"'RUNNING A HOME is a full-time job,' says Mrs. Frank
E. Smith, housewife and hostess, 'and every minute of it can be
nerve straining. Cleaning up, planning meals, social affairs would
run me pretty ragged (and add years to my looks) if I didn't make
sure to protect my nerves. My way of avoiding jumpy nerves is
this: The minute I feel tense and edgy, I pause--I let up--light
up a Camel...'"
"A GORDON SETTER is pictured here--a handsome, muscular
dog to be proud of. It's a thrill to watch his flashing action.
And it's a valuable lesson to observe that after strenous activities,
this dog suddenly halts ... relaxes! Though his nervous
system is high-strung like our own, the dog responds quickly to
the instinctive urge to rest. We don't usually look after
our nerves that well. Perhaps you have often willed yourself on
... hour after hour at a task ... ignoring nerve strain. Try breaking
that nerve strain occasionally--pause now and then--LET UP--LIGHT
UP A CAMEL! ...'"
"COSTLIER TOBACCOS. Smoke 6 packs of Camels and find
out why they are the LARGEST-SELLING CIGARETTE IN AMERICA."
--compiled by Susan Schuurman
Source: Albuquerque Journal;
Jan. 24, 1939