When Hollywood actors were paid to smoke

People who rail against product placement and subliminal advertising in movies today might take some cold comfort in knowing that such practices were just as insidious 50 years ago. New documents reveals that tobacco companies were literally paying actor to smoke. It all began in 1927, "when an advertising firm brokered deals between two of its clients: American Tobacco and RCA." Other studios were not far behind. "Folks, let me tell you, the good old flavor of Luckies is as sweet and soothing as the best ‘Mammy’ song ever written," Jazz Singer star Al Jolson said in one endorsement. Fast-forward to modern times, where people, possibly after renting this gem from Blockbuster, are lending support to an idea to restrict access to movies in which people smoke. I tell ya, this kind of panic is enough to make my T-zone demand smooth flavor.

—Posted by David Kiefaber