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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The good ol' days of smoking oughta come back

Times have changed for smokers.

20 years ago, a pack of Newports used to be only $1.75 per pack in Chicago. A Marlboro carton was about 19 bucks (I rememba seeing) for $19 by 1990. Of course, a pack was actually less than a buck in the earlier 80s within the Windy City.

I even rememba the days of seeing cig vending machines in all kinds of restaurants, including Dunkin Donuts!

In the early 80s, I rememba seeing people smoke all over in fast food restaurants, before the days of smoking/nonsmoking sections. And in the early 80s, it was hard finding an open table at McDonalds....that's how crowded fast food restaurants used to be in my town back then!

Heck, even when there used to be smoking sections just 10 years ago, I STILL saw crowded Mickey Ds in downtown Chicago!

I'm not old enough to recall seeing people smoke in supermarkets. But I heard of smoking in supermarkets, waiting areas and patient rooms of hospitals, and people smoking on buses and trains. That must've happened in the 60s particularly.

I DO rememba seeing people smoke in shopping malls during the 80s. And smoking used to be allowed on planes in that decade. I rememba hearing about free cig packs being given out on planes and at auto races during the 80s as well.

Oh yeah, I certainly rememba smoking being allowed in seats at Cub and White Sox games in those days. I sat behind a red-haired lady at a White Sox-Brewers game at the old Comiskey Park in 1988. She smoked regulars, but I don't rememba her brand. They might have been Winstons since they didn't smell like Marlboro Reds.

It used to be cool seeing people smoke while waiting for the trains at subway stations, although there WERE No Smoking signs on the wall. I think it wasn't til 2003 when the city decided to start enforcing no smoking inside of subway stations.

I certainly can't forget the days of cig ads on outdoor billboards, mags, newspapers, and within sport stadiums/arenas being very common.

When cig commercials got banned from radio and TV in 1971, that's when Big Tobacco started placing more ads in mags especially. I recall seeing Ebony mags in the early 70s...and when I include the back cover, those mags used to have as many as 13-16 pages devoted to cig ads. I was personally surprised smokeless tobacco ads weren't common at all back then.

Ebony mags in the 80s were no different.....11-13 pages worth of cig ads including the back covers. I recall seeing TWO-page Marlboro Country ads too.

Now in modern times....

Smoking ain't allowed anywhere in sport stadiums, at least the ones in my town. But I'm sure this is common in stadiums nationwide. If you leave to go outside to smoke, you can't re-enter, even if you show em your ticket.

You won't find cig vending machines in even Chicago taverns, let alone restaurants. Since my state has a smoking ban, you can't smoke em with your Bud if you bought em from a machine anyway.

Everyone knows about no smoking on planes. And I'm sure most airports nationwide are smoke-free period.

A pack of cigs in Chicago now costs a lot. I ain't paying 8 bucks for a pack of Newports even if someone put a gun to my face and demanded me to buy the FSC Newports.

How many cig ads are in Ebony now? Well, sometimes you might be lucky to run across 1 page for Newports. But even those are rarely seen in modern mags. The only mags in modern times that seem to have tobacco ads period (smokeless tobacco ads included) are adult mags. Like Playboy. And even Playboys no longa have tobacco ads on their back covers.

I actually miss the days of seeing cig ads on the back cover of almost every single mag out there. Including cig ads on Sports Illustrated back covers.

Based on antismoking logic, it's funny people are still smoking despite cig ads period being a thang of the past. And it's also funny teens are still starting to smoke! I thought getting rid of cig ads in mags and their back covers were supposed to help cut down on underage folks learning about cigs. LOL at antis!!!

Goes to show you cig ads were neva the main influence on a person's decision to smoke. I think growing up with smoking parents, smoking siblings, and/or smoking friends are ALL bigga influences than Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.

I ain't gonna smoke Camels just cause "I wanna be like Joe Camel in this 80s mag ad." I'm gonna smoke the brand I enjoy the most. Joe Camel can smoke as many of those yucky Camels as he wants. That brand would make me quit smoking in an instant if it was the only brand out here.

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