Santa Smokes? Well he did, or maybe he still does. Although now he would have to go outside the toyshop to smoke his favorite cigarette. And, he certainly wouldn’t be seen now in a advertisement for cigarettes or tobacco products in general.
The first known advertisement in the USA was for the snuff and the tobacco products of P. Lokllard & Company and was placed in the New York daily paper in 1789. Before the 1970s, most tobacco advertising was legal in the United States and most European nations.
In the United States, in the 1950s and 1960s, cigarette brands were frequently sponsors of television shows or brightly colored print ads like the ones shown here. In 1964, the Surgeon General of the United States released the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee Report on Smoking and Health. This report led to laws requiring warning labels on tobacco products and to restrictions on tobacco advertisements.
In April 1970, Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banning the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio starting on January 2, 1971. As a result, Santa hasn’t been seen dragging on a cigarette in many years. Times have changed – for all of us.