Friday Pho-ho-ho-to: Santa Smoking

(Photos: Lane Medical Library, Stanford University)

Save your cookies and milk. If these vintage ads are any indication, Santa would prefer you leave him a fresh carton of cigarettes as he goes about his yearly rounds. In a 1951 ad for Pall Mall (at left), Santa reminds you not only of the brand’s mildness but also, with the help of a rather complex “puff chart,” its reassuringly “measurable” mildness. Around the same time, Lucky Strike dropped the stylization and went with a Santa whose presents, frankly, we’d rather not receive. Both ads point out their brands’ “protective” qualities: perfect to soothe a throat addled by a night of marathon ho ho ho-ing. Find more spurious claims and chuckleworthy ads in the online gallery of “Not a Cough in a Carload: Images from the Tobacco Industry Campaign to Hide the Hazards of Smoking,” an exhibition now on view at Stanford University’s Lane Medical Library.