Life Magazine Camel Cigarette Ads from the 1930's.
November 20, 2009 8:35 AM   Subscribe

With our modern fascination with "health" and "not dying of cancer" we've forgotten how cigarettes can "renew your flow of vim." Hey, would Lou Gehrig or "America's Aquatic Stars" steer you wrong? This Thanksgiving why not try smoking continously throughout the meal to help your digestion "run smoothly." For Digestion's Sake!
posted by BullaFoloney (51 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
"renew your flow of vim."

Smoking can improve vim skills? Fuck, I'm totally gonna start smoking. Ctrl-[ :wq
posted by kmz at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


What is it with old-timey medical ads and digestion?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:38 AM on November 20, 2009


I can't argue with that last link's statement. At thanksgiving, smoking Camels throughout the meal will cause all guests to leave the house. That's got to be good for digestion.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:39 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


:1,$s/what I said/what kmz said/g
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:39 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Today, I consider myself to have the luckiest metabolism on the face of the Earth.
posted by Spatch at 8:45 AM on November 20, 2009


When I first listened to some Old Time Radio, it was a bit creepy to hear The Abbott & Costello Show begin with an advertisement from their sponsor Camel cigarettes boasting about the flavor "you'll return to again and again!"
posted by Joe Beese at 8:45 AM on November 20, 2009


dirigibleman: "What is it with old-timey medical ads and digestion?"

I can only assume that in the past everyone had really loose poops.
posted by The White Hat at 8:46 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's my flow of spunk that worries me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:49 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well sure, if the turkey is like shoe leather and grandma's pumpkin pie tastes like a sachet of potpourri, I can see how smoking half a pack of Camels during dinner would improve the situation.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:58 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


dirigibleman: "What is it with old-timey medical ads and digestion?"

The then-recent invention of mass produced low-fiber industrial foods, and the newfound affluence leading to less vegetables in the diet, and more meat.
posted by idiopath at 9:00 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, I quit smoking a few months back and have definitely noticed a distinct lack of vim in my life. I knew I should have changed to Camel instead of quitting.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:07 AM on November 20, 2009


When I first listened to some Old Time Radio, it was a bit creepy to hear The Abbott & Costello Show begin with an advertisement from their sponsor Camel cigarettes boasting about the flavor "you'll return to again and again!"

We asked 555 doctors which brand of cigarette they smoke most.
The brand chosen most was Camel!

Camel's suit your T-Zone to a T!
(That's 'T' for Taste and 'T' for Throat.)

Try a Camel!

posted by Atom Eyes at 9:07 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


What's with the weird fade on certain letters in the digestion ad?

FOR DIGESTION'S SAKE—SMOKE CAMELS

I want it to mean something, but neither "FOR DIGEON'S S—SMOKE CAELS" or "STI AKE M" holds any meaning for me. WHAT KIND OF STUNT ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL HERE CAMEL, I MEAN REALLY.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 9:23 AM on November 20, 2009


And, 60 years from now, what "sure-makes-sense" ads from today will be posted as outrageous on MetaFilter?
posted by RichardS at 9:24 AM on November 20, 2009


It's my flow of spunk that worries me.

You've got spunk?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:24 AM on November 20, 2009


What is it with old-timey medical ads and digestion?
Nicotene is a stimulant. Stimulants can make you poop. Sometimes people need to poop and they can't. So doctors would be paid to endorse the fact that cigarettes can make you poop in a more fun an entertaining way than consuming a product with a strange name like "Metamucil".

Caffeine can also make you poop.

Ask a meth-head about speed-dumps!

Everybody poops.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:25 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Actually, I guess most of the ads reference digestion, so what I really meant was "the Thanksgiving ad." Carry on.)
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 9:27 AM on November 20, 2009


Makes Joe Camel seem like a bit of a joke, huh?
posted by spirit72 at 9:30 AM on November 20, 2009


Man, those aquatic athletes really have problems with cigarettes getting on their nerves, upsetting their nerves, causing jangly nerves, unnerving their nerves, nerves nerves nerves.... CAMEL.
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:34 AM on November 20, 2009


I'm surprised they didn't start advocating smoking during sleep. Sleep is clearly a missed opportunity for Camel consumption.
posted by killdevil at 9:40 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


it was a bit creepy to hear The Abbott & Costello Show begin with an advertisement from their sponsor Camel cigarettes

It's always disconcerting to hear the Lucky Strike ads on old Jack Benny programs, especially the hard sells that go beyond the LSMFT slogan and tell you that Luckies make you feel "your level best" by somehow miraculously "picking you up when you're down" and "calming you down when you're tense." The sheer amount of balderdash masquerading as health advice is amazing.

On the other hand, I could listen to the auctioneer guy all day.
posted by Spatch at 9:43 AM on November 20, 2009


We've come a long way, baby.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:47 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, 60 years from now, what "sure-makes-sense" ads from today will be posted as outrageous on MetaFilter?

Hopefully, the direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals.
posted by homuncula at 9:49 AM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised they didn't start advocating smoking during sleep. Sleep is clearly a missed opportunity for Camel consumption.
posted by killdevil at 7:40 AM on November 20 [+] [!]


I've tried it. Not recommended.
posted by metagnathous at 9:52 AM on November 20, 2009


I want it to mean something, but neither "FOR DIGEON'S S—SMOKE CAELS" or "STI AKE M" holds any meaning for me.

If you rearrange the letters in the second group you get "MISTAKE" which of course is what a Thanksgiving dinner without chain-smoking would be.
posted by turaho at 10:02 AM on November 20, 2009


I decided to cut out the middle man this year and just add tobacco to my stuffing.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is my favorite Camel ad. The leg massage is a nice touch.
posted by exogenous at 10:08 AM on November 20, 2009


It's always disconcerting to hear the Lucky Strike ads on old Jack Benny programs, especially the hard sells that go beyond the LSMFT slogan and tell you that Luckies make you feel "your level best" by somehow miraculously "picking you up when you're down" and "calming you down when you're tense." The sheer amount of balderdash masquerading as health advice is amazing.

Wikipedia notes:
Research suggests that, when smokers wish to achieve a stimulating effect, they take short quick puffs, which produce a low level of blood nicotine. This stimulates nerve transmission. When they wish to relax, they take deep puffs, which produce a high level of blood nicotine, which depresses the passage of nerve impulses, producing a mild sedative effect. At low doses, nicotine potently enhances the actions of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, causing a drug effect typical of those of psychostimulants. At higher doses, nicotine enhances the effect of serotonin and opiate activity, producing a calming, pain-killing effect. Nicotine is unique in comparison to most drugs, as its profile changes from stimulant to sedative/pain killer in increasing dosages and use.

Thus, the "pick you up" and "calm you down" effects.
posted by signalnine at 10:09 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here's some more sport stars with Chesterfields. A B-movie actor. Mario Lanza.

John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Dick Powell.
An old man who lives up north.
I could go on and on.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:09 AM on November 20, 2009


I had a habit of picking up weird sci-fi pulp novels from the 1950s and 1960s for an amusing look at views of the future. One novel had a story about small, fuzzy humanoids with the intelligence of children (that's how the human characters referred to the creatures). The creatures were inquisitive and playful, but knew to avoid hazardous items. For example, they wouldn't drink alcohol because they knew it was bad for them, but cigarettes were A-OK. I don't recall them having a brand of choice, though.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:09 AM on November 20, 2009


This is my favorite Camel ad. The leg massage is a nice touch.

Another bicycle racing anecdote: I've heard that some racing teams would take a smoke break before long hill climbs, to open their lungs and improve their performance.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:11 AM on November 20, 2009


And, 60 years from now, what "sure-makes-sense" ads from today will be posted as outrageous on MetaFilter?

Soft drinks, fast food, candy bars etc pedaled to children
car commercials
ACTION movies (ie: murder/carnage porn)
posted by philip-random at 10:22 AM on November 20, 2009


I would love to smoke throughout Thanksgiving, but I sure as hell wouldn't be smoking tobacco.
posted by kathrineg at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, 60 years from now, what "sure-makes-sense" ads from today will be posted as outrageous on MetaFilter?

I predict it will mostly be TED talks.
posted by snofoam at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


"What is it with old-timey medical ads and digestion?"

Back in those days, everyone was "round, firm, and fully packed."
posted by octobersurprise at 10:54 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have a feeling that in the olden days of yore, a lot of people had built up dependence on laxatives.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2009


As a sometime smoker, I can definitely vouch that smoking makes you poop like a champion.
posted by Electrius at 11:33 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I had a habit of picking up weird sci-fi pulp novels from the 1950s and 1960s for an amusing look at views of the future. One novel had a story about small, fuzzy humanoids with the intelligence of children (that's how the human characters referred to the creatures). The creatures were inquisitive and playful, but knew to avoid hazardous items. For example, they wouldn't drink alcohol because they knew it was bad for them, but cigarettes were A-OK.

Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:36 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Having just quit smoking last August, I love the idea of smoking a cigarette to "cleanse the palate between courses." MARKETING!!! *jazz hands*

Let me tell you something, after a 20-year pack-a-day habit, it took a solid two months after quitting before my palate was fully cleansed. Two months in which the oddest and most revolting tastes would randomly be released by my sinuses, or seep out from my gums or something.

Now that my palate is finally cleansed, I'm finding that things taste surprisingly better without the ever-present overlay of Camels.
posted by ErikaB at 11:49 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thus, the "pick you up" and "calm you down" effects.

Just because nicotine can be both a stimulant and a depressive doesn't mean it should be recommended as a magical and easy cure for whichever one of those problems is plaguing you at the moment.

And this coming from a former "If I don't get that First Puff of the Day feeling right now, HEADS WILL ROLL" type.
posted by Spatch at 12:10 PM on November 20, 2009


yum update vim
posted by benzenedream at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


God, I love to smoke! Thanks for reminding me! *leaves office for a smoke break*
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2009


"What is it with old-timey medical ads and digestion?"

Back in olden times, everyone was managing a heroin addiction through the consumption of three bottles of Moxie Cola a day, which had a tendency of slowing things down.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:45 PM on November 20, 2009


Damn, I wish I still smoked.
posted by mgrichmond at 1:25 PM on November 20, 2009


What, no Flintstones hawking Winstons?
posted by Lou Stuells at 1:29 PM on November 20, 2009


mgrichmond, it's never too late to start back up! You control your destiny. Don't be a quitter!
posted by TheFlamingoKing at 1:36 PM on November 20, 2009


Sure, everybody knows you should always smoke a Camel before dessert. It clears the palate. But did you realize that you should smoke another Camel before your pre-dessert Camel? It prepares the palate for cleansing.
posted by zylocomotion at 1:59 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing that gets me about these ads is how information dense they are. Granted, that information is completely wrong - but there's so much of it. Back in the Good Olde Days people must have lingered over their magazines, reading all that tiny type and taking the time to imagine what it was like to relax after a hard day of parachute testing(!) by lighting up a smoke. Nowadays it's all about hitting you with a simple message that's so short you can't ignore it, with reinforcement throughout the day.


killdevil: "I'm surprised they didn't start advocating smoking during sleep. Sleep is clearly a missed opportunity for Camel consumption."

metagnathous: "I've tried it. Not recommended."

Years ago I had occasion to visit a long term care hospital every day, and came to know the patients on a particular floor. There was this Russian guy who was a really sad case. Around thirty-forty years old, he had been sleeping on his uncle's couch when it mysteriously caught on fire, burning down the house. He got out, but not before sustaining really bad burns (probably third degree, I don't know) to a large portion of his skin. So now he was in the hospital with patches of skin that looked like melted wax and zero immune function. He was in constant pain, always sick and had no money. Basically a ward of the state at this point.

But he had one great solace in his life: cigarettes. Every two or three hours he'd sneak outside (even in winter) to smoke, or buy smokes. His uncle visited every once in a while and gave him money, which was promptly spent on cigarettes. The doctors told him to cut it out, but he kept on smoking. It was sad to see a man so enslaved to the very thing that had destroyed his life. Finally, the doctors gave him an ultimatum: quit smoking right now or we'll throw you out on the street (where you'll almost certainly die without medication). He left the hospital that afternoon and never came back.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:33 PM on November 20, 2009


"Like most of the folks who go in for water sports, I pride myself on my fine physical condition."

I, um...wait, what were we talking about?
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:48 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's all well and good, but don't try getting your MAC fixed any time soon
posted by mattoxic at 7:10 PM on November 21, 2009


You know what I smoke to help with digestion?

*grins*
posted by Bageena at 5:22 PM on November 22, 2009


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