These Brown and Williamson (B&W) coupons! I found these at an antique store in a little town called Eden, about 4 miles south of Fond du Lac - my friend Sue and I stopped there on a trip back from West Bend on Monday and she found these for me while she was digging for something else. I'll admit it - I have always loved these! From the first time (circa 1977) I saw one in a pack of cigarettes a family member smoked (and I wanted to start collecting then), up until I realized I could get literally thousands of these for under five bucks, I have loved these things. You may be asking yourself why I'm fretting about these - they're just vintage ephemera, right?
And herein lay the quandary - should I be lauding ephemera that exists solely because people used to smoke like chimneys? Every one of these coupons represents a pack of cigarettes. If the numbers on these bundles of coupons are correct, the baggie represents two thousand packs of cigarettes, or 40 thousand cigarettes. If the person collecting these coupons were a pack-a-day smoker, it would've taken them only 5 1/2 years to collect these. When I think about the money wasted and the toll it takes on your body, it puts these premiums in a whole new light.
That being said, smoking is still legal and even though I'm not a fan, it is anyone's right to smoke if they so choose. I also chose to buy this bag of premiums. And you have to admit - this catalog is REALLY cool. :D
I've shown you some of my smoking-related ATCs before, but here's another one, and probably appropriate for the blog post:
|"The Science of Smoking" ATC|