The Way We Were

Tobacco Ads Through the Years

This piece provides a collection of links to 299 tobacco company advertisements—still images and videos gathered from a variety of public websites—going back to 1910 with OMAR Turkish Cigarettes. It shows how tobacco ads have evolved with American culture, keeping in step as its values and externals changed over time.

Ads fall into the following categories:

  • Glamour (35)
  • Athletes (33)
  • Horses & Cowboys (7)
  • Medical Professionals (13)
  • Children/Teens (14)
  • Celebrities (23)
  • Military (13)
  • International (12)
  • Joe Camel (12)
  • Marlboro Country (22)
  • Appeals to Women (26)
  • Health Claims (38)
  • Video Ads (51)

In recent years, counterads were developed by groups opposing tobacco use to portray the dangers and “uncoolness” of smoking. Seven of those ads are at the end of this collection.