If you walk within a hundred yards of a hospital, medical building or virtually any public place and light up a cigarette, a lightning bolt will strike you down.

OK, maybe not quite that...but smoking is is banned almost everywhere, and is bad all the time. We know that.

Now.

But 'back then', things were a bit different.

When's the last time a doctor recommended lighting up a cigarette? Never you say? And you're laughing just thinking about it?

Well, you must be a young person. And by young I mean, you probably aren't a member of the Baby Boom generation. Many of us Baby Boomers saw TV commercials where doctors (or perhaps actors who played doctors) not only didn't scold you for burning a butt, they actually recommended what brand you should enjoy!

And of course they got us kids started with Candy Cigarettes.

I carry around enough age to remember when my Mom had surgery in the hospital in Luverne. My Dad and I went to visit and entering the hospital waiting room, it was a tad difficult to see across the room due to the cigarette smoke. All the old fella's had lit up a Camel or Winston or Lucky Strike and were talking about the awful price of corn and beans. The ashtray's were full.

Yes, in the waiting room. In the hospital.

So when did we stop seeing a couple enjoying a Kool on the lake shore on television?

Congress banned cigarette ads on the boob-tube April 1, 1970.

And so ended an era. Thankfully.

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