Saturday, August 19, 2006

You'll Feel Better About Smoking . . .

Boston Celtic star Bob Cousy advertising Kent cigarettes

While I'm on the subject of asbestos (see previous post "Asbestos, the Magic Mineral"), the makers of Kent cigarettes came up with an exceptionally bad idea in the 1950's. Filter cigarettes were becoming more popular as a means of assuaging smokers' health concerns. In 1957, Kent was recognized by Reader's Digest as having the lowest levels of tar and nicotine among filter cigarettes. Kent's advertising claimed their micronite filters were "developed by researchers in atomic energy plants." Unfortunately, these geniuses used crocidolite asbestos as a component of the filter. The combination of asbestos inhalation and smoking increases the risk of lung cancer about 100 times over the risk of smoking alone. On top of that, there was an epidemic of asbestos-related diseases among workers in the Kent factory.

Remember when tobacco companies advertised on TV? Winston even used the Flintstones in their commercials.


Finally, here's a transcript of a Kent TV commercial:

SCENE: MAN AND WOMAN RIDING BICYCLES. THEY STOP TO LIGHT UP KENT CIGARETTES.

ANNOUNCER (VOICE OVER):
It's a wonderful feeling to be alive and active – to enjoy a beautiful day with a congenial companion and feel that all your senses are alert – including your sense of taste. And with Kent, your taste buds become clear and alive.
. . .
CHORUS (SINGING): You'll feel better about smoking with the taste of Kent – Kent, with the micronite filter. Refines away harsh flavor, refines away hot taste. It makes the taste of a cigarette mild. It’s a wonderful feeling.
(Circa 1960)

1 comment:

E. M. Atwater said...

Ah, there's nothing quite like that squeeky clean, filtered cigarette smoke, is there?

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