Back before the public came to terms with the grim causal relationship between cigarettes and cancer, smoking was a jolly affair, whose pleasures extended well beyond the physical act.
Smoking was sociable. Yes, there were certain situations in which three on a match could spell doom, but a far greater likelihood that lighting an attractive stranger’s coffin nail might kindle conversation, and more.
If you were at a loss for words, you might break the ice with the trading cards manufacturers slipped inside cigarette packs, such as these mid-30s beauties that came inside packs of Greys, a now-defunct British cigarette brand, and favorite of WWI vets… More at Open Culture.
They still have 34 years to be proved correct.