Page 1


    Classic American

Page 2

    Classic Designs

    Sporting Packs

    Fashion Designer Packs

Page 3

    Good Tastes and Smells

    Political Packs

    US Presidential Packs

Page 4

    Commemorative Pack

    House Brands

    Imitation Cigarette Packs

Page 5

    Novelty Brands

    Self-lighting Cigarettes

    US Prisons

    Target Marketing

Page 6

    Tax Evasion

    Warning Labels

    Kiddie & Toddler Packs

    Research Cigarettes

Page 7

    Healthful Cigarettes

    Denicotined Cigarettes


    Filter Innovation

Page 8

    The Fire-Safe Cigarette

    Product Regulation




Visual Exhibits


Cigarette Design and Innovation for Market Appeal


In 1994, John Slade, MD exhibited a portion of his collection at the Ninth World Conference on Tobacco and Health in Paris, France. We present on these pages the notes of his talk, along with most of the images he referenced. Below is his description of the exhibit, along with a group of promotional items that were ultimately cut from the presentation.

We hope this overview of the history of cigarette design and marketing adds context to the collection and increases the usefulness of this website.





This exhibit illustrates the inventiveness of cigarette makers and marketers through the 20th century. The pack designs, marketing devices and technological innovations shown here hint at the enormous creative energy that has gone into making nicotine addiction the most common serious health problem in many countries of the world.

Public health policy makers must understand the design and innovation history of these addictive products if they are to develop intelligent regulatory approaches. The items on exhibit are presented as a primer for those interested in tobacco product regulation and in the regulation of tobacco product marketing.

The exhibit goes from the beginnings of the modern cigarette era to the classic American blend cigarette to the filtered fifties. Along the way, cigarette pack art is displayed with themes including sports, fashion designer labels, politics and the macabre. There are examples of gimmicks for supposed health and comfort as well as the "all natural" smoke. Tax evasion, prison industry brands, brands targeted to women and to minorities, cigarettes for research on animals and for research on humans are here. Offering the illusion of health protection was a novelty in the 30s and 40s; it became an obsession within the industry in the 50s and has remained so ever since. No government has yet held the industry accountable to a legitimate standard for safety; even a standard of modestly reduced hazard has been exceedingly rare. The FDA has regulated a few tobacco products on a case by case basis, but there has been no overall approach to the problem. One of the problems the industry faces in figuring out how to sell high-tech nicotine delivery devices is to make them not look like drugs to government officials.

Designs that flatter and amuse, innovations that falsely promise health benefits have been the rule. This is the legacy; this is what government has tolerated for decades. The industry will keep on doing what sells the most product unless and until it is properly regulated.

  • Plain packaging
  • Honest, informative labeling
  • Help with stopping
  • Appropriate product regulation

These are some of the areas in which regulators should take action so the present generation avoids repeating the mistakes of the past.

John Slade, M.D.


Marlboro Texan No. 45 Poker Cards (U.S., 1984). Leaflet features photo of Wayne McClaren (far right). Mr. McClaren died of lung cancer caused by cigarettes in 1992. Cards are free with cigarette purchase.

Camel Rubik's Cube (Germany, mid-1980's). Featuring the Camel Adventurer.

Camel 75th birthday pack. (U.S., 1988) The first U.S. appearance of a soon to become famous French cartoon camel.

Camel Earrings (U.S., 1992 & 1993). Camel Cash Premiums

Meet The Hard Pack cassette (U.S., 1993). Included as a gift to retailers with promotional material for distribution in stores.

Camel Collectors Packs (U.S., 1993). The Hard Pack

Camel Cash Bonus Packs (U.S., 1994)

Camel Key Holder (undated)

Marlboro Radio (U.S., 1993).

Skoal stopwatch (U.S., 1993). This promo item evades a Federal Trade Commission requirement that "utilitarian objects" have warning labels because it is smaller than the minimum size.

Copenhagen Compass (U.S., 1994) Also Warningless despite FTC regulations.

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