Cigarettes Are Sexy! Who Knew?

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You may want to procure an air sickness bag before you read this. What's worse: A cigarette company portraying smoking as sexy (and it's not the least bit subtle) or a 1970 ad proudly proclaiming, "You've come a long way, baby" (as if the women's rights movement somehow empowered women by giving them their own brand of cigarettes)?

Which is worse? A or B?

A: "You've come a long way, baby
To get where you've got to today
You've got your own cigarette now, baby
You've come a long, long way."

Virginia Slims ad ca. 1970. Thanks to Philip Morris for empowering women to hasten their deaths


B: "[April, the company owner's wife] and David met on Dec 4, 2012, when he tossed her a few pre-market Hestias across the bar. Impressed but not persuaded, she exhorted him to make his early branding iterations infinitely “more [f###able].” (1) Six years later, they married in Chicago’s Millennium Park. And for one sole night, the Second City did not sleep, either." 

Hestia Tobacco Co. 2023. Reminding us how sexy smoking can be!


Still can't decide? Maybe this will help. Both images are on the Hestia website.

Still too subtle? Perhaps an image of the company's logo will help.

Hestia's logo. Naked women (no extra charge)

A or B? Which is more vile? I simply cannot decide. On one hand, Philip Morris not only exploited the women's rights movement by equating equal rights with lung cancer but also "hinted" that smoking is sexy.

Free image: Flickr


But I'm gonna wimp out and call it a tie. Both ad campaigns are hideous. Both companies, likewise.

While Philip Morris's execrable (and highly successful) campaign promoted some mighty twisted thinking, keep in mind that the CEOs of major tobacco companies, a fine group of citizens if ever there were one, testified that they actually believed that smoking didn't cause cancer. This was as recently as 1994. 

On the other hand, two decades later, Hestia, in addition to the soft porn logo, cleverly implies (and also denies) that their "lovingly-grown" tobacco has some health benefits over plain old stinky cigarettes. Check out these beauties.

We stripped the tobacco down to its perfect, environmentally respectful ideal: pure naked tobacco plants left to grow wild and unadulterated. 

Anyone picking up on this subtle imagery?

Obviously we don’t use pesticides or chemical fertilizers sprayed on — and there are absolutely zero additives. It’s completely wonderful and natural — or as we’re calling it: NAKED, WILD, TOBACCO.

Let's give Hestia a standing ovation! The company doesn't use naughty pesticides, fertilizers, or additives. Hence, its cigarettes are wonderful and natural. Go buy them. Now. Your life depends upon it. 

Have something to collect your vomit handy for this one: [my emphasis]

Hestias are proudly manufactured by members of the Seneca Nation in upstate New York. Tobacco is indigenous to the Americas, and has been a part of the history and culture of this land since the dawn of time, and we remain honored to partner with them to continue this legacy of excellence and beauty.

Because we all know that cigarettes are typically associated with pride, honor, excellence, and beauty.

Can anything be worse? Perhaps the company's valiant attempt to save the planet.

Our filters are currently an industry-standard cellulose filter. But are thrilled to be working with an incredibly innovative company that has created totally natural fully biodegradable plant-based filters, and we hope to have the FDA approve them this year.

I can barely control my anticipation! Approval of a biodegradable cigarette filter? Let's put this right up in the annals of medicine with the discovery of penicillin, the smallpox vaccine, and general anesthesia.

Finally, the pièce de résistance.

Are Hestias Healthy?
As our packs plainly read, “Hestia cigarettes are not safer than other cigarettes.” Smoke is a known carcinogen and putting it in your body is harmful. Yes, even your smoked meats, and grilled steaks. And abusing any drug will hurt you. I can no more say Hestias don’t cause cancer than your beers don’t cause cirrhosis of the liver.

I'm speechless (which is rare). While admitting that their cigarettes are no safer than plain old stinky non-porn, non-organic, planet-destroying cigarettes, Hestia implies that a salami sandwich or Bud Lite is just as likely to put you in the dirt.

Photo credit: Flickr

Which company is worse? Beats me. They should both burn in hell. Last I heard, smoking is still permitted there.


(1) They used the entire word. I cannot. Take a wild guess.