Outstanding… And They Are Mild! #socs

Wherever particular people congregate” popped into my head as soon as I saw the prompt. Those of you whose parents smoked, or who smoked yourselves, recognize this from the pack of Pall Mall (pronounced “pell mell”) cigarettes. Maybe because Lee Marvin smoked them…

As far back as I can remember, Mom smoked king-sized Chesterfields. When they became impossible to find, she started smoking Pall Malls. At least until she had to quit because she was having trouble breathing.

I had a boss who smoked Pall Malls, the unfiltered ones like Mom and Lee Marvin. My boss was also a Vietnam veteran, which I guess is where he learned to smoke nonfiltered cigarettes. Hey, if I was in Vietnam back then, I might have done the same.

Pall Mall was originally a British cigarette, then it crossed the Atlantic, kind of like “Honey Pie.”

The thing I remember about cigarettes, besides smoking them, is the commercials, which were plentiful until the FCC banned cigarette commercials at midnight on January 2, 1971. We saw them on TV, heard them on the radio, and magazines and newspapers were full of cigarette ads, especially after the commercials were taken off TV and radio. Pall Mall was one of the first cigarettes to come out with a 100 mm (4″) cigarette, and it was advertised as “the seven minute cigarette.”

I can’t be the only person that remembers this. There must be someone somewhere


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Brought to you this week by (what else?) Pall Mall cigarettes. Outstanding… and they are mild!

48 thoughts on “Outstanding… And They Are Mild! #socs

  1. I know one lady who still smokes those unfiltered Pall Mall’s (here, Paul Malls – like a rhyme) and she’s in her 70s, so she may not quit. If she runs out, she’ll break the filter off whatever cigarette she’s offered.
    The Mister and I quit smoking five years ago, but now we vape. Our families and physicians are happy, but lots of people hate on the vape.
    Everyone my elder, both sides of my family either smokes or is a former smoker. I grew up during the transitional time. Smoking had a place at school and work, private offices had no regulation at all — I can remember hospital ashtrays and smoking areas in airports.

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    1. I remember you could smoke as a patient in the hospital, on airplanes, at bars and restaurants….

      Vaping is just water vapor, isn’t it? I think there are some for whom vaping, like so many other seemingly-innocuous pastimes, offends their delicate sense of aesthetics. Like I always say, screw ’em if they can’t take a joke…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s got a few FDA approved chemicals in it, plus nicotine. We don’t always use the nicotine, though.
        Mostly strangers comment on the good smell, but I’ve read about others complaining. Oh well.

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  2. Oh God..I remember my dad putting gas in the car and giving me money to go buy cigarettes for him And my mom. My eyes were just over the counter and I would ask for a pack of Export A and a pack of Cameo. My dad quit cold turkey but my mom never did.she hated being “told” that s(e couldn’t smoke in restaurants or in other places. She hated that they were trying to “control” her. Her rebel without a cause showed up in her habit of smoking. When she got vascular dementia, it was very tough because we had to watch her as we were scared she would burn my house down! I recall checking on her one morning and noticing her hair was singed. I went to her other room and noticed all the ashes and burn Marks and found burnt paper in the kitchen sink! The last straw was when she lit up a pen and tried to smoke it! When she went into the hospital and given respiradone( I kiss that drug), they fixed her on a patch and voila! She just accepted it and we had no further issues. I also had to clean the walls every year at home and would see the yellowy/brownish crap drip down. To this day I hate the colour of amber.

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    1. When I smoked, there was a store in downtown Chicago that sold Export A. They were pretty good, as cigarettes go.

      I worked with a guy that smoked a lot at work. The ceiling tiles over his desk were almost dark brown…

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  3. I smoked Pall Malls in college and it carried into post-college work. I finally went to Winstons but can’t remember why. I did quit when smoking became impossible. (In 1991) Here’s a question of nostalgia. Nat Sherman hand made cigarettes from New York. They were 100MM and I used to get them by mail. They were pretty expensive so they became the brandy smoke of choice.

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  4. I had to laugh about the “you could light either end” part. That reminds me of another kind of no filtered smoke. I smoked Benson and Hedges Light Menthol when I smoked, which I stopped doing over 30 years ago. Quit cold turkey too. Wish I could use that discipline on other things 🙂

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  5. Strange what one remembers. I do remember the commercials, I would have been 8 the year they were banned. I also remember cigarette vending machines at the Luby’s Cafeteria where we’d occasionally go for Sunday lunch after Mass. We had candy cigarettes too. Pure sugar sticks.

    My mom smoked Salem. They came in a green package if memory serves. She switch back and forth with Kent. Our neighbor would buy them at the commissary for her to get them at discounted prices.

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    1. Winstons and Salems were made by the same company (R. J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem, NC) and the packs were similar. You’re right, Winston was red, Salem was green. I smoked Kents a lot when I first started, then switched to L&M. At the time, the L&M packs had a picture of a couple walking among roses…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. At my high school in NC they actually had a smoking area outside. It seemed at the time that all the “cool kids” hung out there. I didn’t start smoking until college during a period of depression. I think I tried every brand of menthol cigarettes over a ten year period. I tried non-menthol to help me quit but I didn’t quit for good until right before my first pregnancy. Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I’d ever done until raising teenagers took the place of the hardest thing. Thankfully, both are possible.

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    1. We had a smoking area, too, which was closed down midway through my senior year. Fortunately, there was a forest preserve not far from where the smoking area was that was technically off-campus, so we couldn’t get busted out there.

      North Carolina and smoking kind of go together, don’t they? One of NC’s top universities was started by a tobacco magnate…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember these commercials. I don’t condone smoking but some of the cigarette commercials were great! I used to smoke Virginia Slims. Now when I feel I need a puff or two, I use e-cigs (no nicotine).

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    1. Remember the Winston commercials with “The Flintstones”? That was their sponsor in the first season. A lot of shows were sponsored by tobacco companies: “The Desi and Lucy Comedy Hour” was sponsored by Phillip Morris (although Lucy smoked Chesterfields, like my mom), “The Dick Van Dyke Show” by Kent cigarettes, “I’ve Got A Secret” by Winston, etc. And there were the jingles: “Winston Tastes Good Like A Cigarette Should,” “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby,” and on and on. They weren’t so much as a nasty habit as a social phenomenon (as opposed to Internet addiction, which is an antisocial phenomenon).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I remember and I agree about the internet being an antisocial phenomenon. It’s easier for people to hide behind their computer screen than to communicate face to face.

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        1. I always say that if weren’t for the Internet they’d be sitting in the back of a bus mumbling to themselves. I get the sense that a lot of them have very poorly-developed communication skills. Honestly, do you ever read the comments section on YouTube? They can’t spell, can’t form an intelligible sentence, and they pepper their comments with “lol” like it’s some kind of punctuation mark. That’s what comes of having your head in a cellphone all day and night.

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  8. I remember magazine ads of people smoking and having fun (ads had been banned on tv by then, I guess). It did look fun. It also looked sexy in some of the older movies. My dad smoked for decades (Marlboroughs), so I suppose I grew up with “secondhand smoke” ~ and then I smoked for a couple years too, late teens. I liked Newport menthols. Funny how I can so easily remember this!

    Smoking was more social. You could talk to a stranger who was having a cig, ask for a light, or just say hey. Not like now when you don’t interrupt people who have their face in their phone, which is everyone.

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    1. I think that was a big part of Adlai Stevenson’s Presidential runs, the holes in the shoes. (I was too young to remember them, but my folks told me.) I guess he was showing off how much he walked. In those days, good men’s shoes could be resoled, so you could wear them almost forever…

      I went to school with Adlai’s grandson, Adlai IV. He had hair then, but by his early 20’s he was bald as a hatchet, just like his father and grandfather…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember all of the commercials. Never had the urge to smoke though. Maybe because I had the chore of cleaning the ashtrays. Dad smoked Camels and he was forever ‘spitting’ little pieces of tobacco that stuck to his tongue. My mom smoked Salems and maybe Benson and Hedges for a while.

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    1. “You’ve come a long way, baby” was Virginia Slims, which were a brand made by Benson & Hedges that was targeted towards women, although I had a couple of male friends who smoked them. Cheryl Tiegs did some of their magazine ads. She was hard to forget…

      Liked by 1 person

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