I’m very disappointed, because I just found out, by searching the internet for “Santa Claus smoking,” that my childhood hero, Father Christmas- Saint Nicholas- used to smoke cigarettes like crazy! You name the brand of cigarettes and it appeared that he smoked that brand…..Marlboro, Chesterfield, Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, the list goes on.
I hope he quit smoking, though. He probably did because he’d likely be pretty sick by now, with emphysema at least, and in any case he’s lucky he didn’t die of a heart attack or stroke, or from lung cancer, because from all the ads I’ve found, he must have smoked like a chimney while he was descending the same with his gifts of toys.
It’s hardly surprising that, given their huge capacity for deceit and their eagerness to get as many people as possible to smoke, from any age group or ethnic background, tobacco companies promoted their products to the world’s children by advertising Santa as a pipe-, cigar-, or cigarette-smoking deliverer of toys.
I wonder how many children from the past were enticed to think, based on these ads, that “I want to be a smoker when I grow up, just like Santa,” or “It must be okay to smoke because Santa Claus does.”
It’s just another example of how far these companies will go to get their message across to children. Despite laws against advertising cigarettes to children, tobacco companies still promote their products in many ways to the world’s kids. Future posts will reveal some of these appalling tactics.