“Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco That’s What Happiness Is.”

Smoking cigarettes in the good old days
Yes, if you are unhappy then smoke a Lucky and your mood will improve. After all, 20,679 physicians say Luckies are less irritating.


Thanks, Doc! Now I won’t have to waste money experimenting. I’ll just start smoking Luckies.


Now physicians tell you to quit smoking. In simpler days, they told you what brand of cigarette to smoke.


I vaguely recall that the words “Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco That’s What Happiness Is,” was the jingle on TV ads for Lucky Strike cigarettes. What? Television ads? Sure. They advertised everything else from liquor to beer to lawn darts. Tobacco companies spent countless billions on TV advertising. That’s how I remember the jingle decades later. I heard them all the time on TV.

On TV? Yes. Cigarettes used to be advertised on television.  And we innocent kids watched the commercials which always featured cool people smoking. Being impressionable, we kids absorbed this and took up smoking when we were older–14 or 15–just like they were supposed to. Isn’t advertising great?



As you can see the guy is offering her a light before lighting his own cigarette. This is how a gentleman behaved in the Cigarette Era.


As young children, we enjoyed nothing more than buying a pack of candy cigarettes and pretending we were smoking. It seemed cool.  Hell, it was cool. The great movie stars like Marlon Brando, or Humphrey Bogart, or John Wayne were cool but they were even cooler because they smoked. Unlike today with all sorts of rules and restrictions about smoking, we could smoke anywhere and we did.


Cool people smoking and drinking in the famous Stork Club while they waited for dinner. 

Restaurants? Sure. A smoking section? Hell no, the entire restaurant was a smoking section. In college, we smoked in class.  Smoked on airplanes, buses, and naturally in our own cars. Every car had a cigarette lighter. Let me tell you if you were blasting down the interstate at 120 MPH with high octane leaded gas, you didn’t want to try and light a smoke with a match for God’s sake. You used your trusty cigarette lighter. You will not believe this but a pack of cigarettes and a gallon of gas used to cost the same thing–25 cents.


Sorry kid, Mommy has to go. But her boyfriend on the side, the Marlborough cowboy, is coming over and you two can smoke cigarettes.


Although Marlboro was originally introduced as a cigarette for women, it was obviously too strong for them and only a manly man cowboy could handle the kick of nicotine which came from a Marlboro. So Mommy had to go and studly Cowboy took her place.


You want to be a cowboy out in Big Sky country don’t you, son? I sure do.

You don’t want to sit around in an office all damn day, do you?  No, I don’t! So smoke Marlboros, the only cigarette for a manly man. Great idea. When I was in the brokerage business you could barely see because of the cigarette smoke. Since you made a lot more money as a stockbroker than a cowboy you had to adopt one of his cool habits such as smoking Marlboros. Or wearing cowboy boots which looked sort of ridiculous.


Marlboro billboard in LA 1976

Television wasn’t the only place cigarettes were advertised. Billboards advertising cigarettes were everywhere. Cigarette ads covered transit buses and subway cars. Big metal signs proclaiming the superiority of Winstons, or Tarrytons or a  Parliaments, were posted in convenience stores and gas stations. Magazines?  Filled with cigarette ads. Especially magazines for cool people and children.

Now every browbeating busybody will lecture people about how bad smoking is especially younger people. My advice to the older generation? Piss off. You smoked as a younger person so don’t be such a hypocrite.

I’ll close by saying lots of athletic contests and other wholesome events were sponsored by cigarette companies. That has been banned, of course. Now the beer and alcohol companies have kindly stepped into the breach. Is this a great country or what?