15 Vintage Ads Show Santa Claus Smoking Like a Chimney Instead of Climbing Down One (PHOTOS)

Santa Claus smoking

As if Santa’s lungs weren’t black enough from the chimneys

Santa Claus and smoking are making headlines this holiday season thanks to a newly released, edited and now-controversial version of the 1822 poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” according to Yahoo News. The original poem (formally known as “The Visit from St. Nicholas) describes Saint Nick with a “stump of pipe he held tight in his teeth/And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.” Now, thanks to author Pamela McColl, who spent $200,000 of her own money, that line has been deleted in a self-published version.

But the famous (or newly infamous) poem is hardly the first depiction of Santa Claus enjoying a smoke. There are scores of vintage advertisements that feature Santa Claus thoroughly enjoying cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

According to Stanford University’s School of Medicine, which has a research group that studies the impact of tobacco advertising:

Cherished icons can be found in a number of tobacco ads. Indeed, the tobacco industry has made every effort to associate itself with noble institutions, patriotic themes, and cultural icons that connote respectability. Among the innumerable examples are George Washington, Mt. Rushmore, British royalty, the US flag, the Statue of Liberty, soldiers, astronauts, and even the beloved family pet. Even more prevalent were cultural symbols which brought to mind happy times and celebration, particularly Santa Claus.

Stanford’s website includes numerous examples of vintage cigarettes and tobacco ads featuring Santa Claus — as a smoker, womanizer, lech, misogynist and enabler.

Take a look at some of them right here:

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  • Edgeworth 1 of 15
    Edgeworth
    "Mrs. Claus is a right fine woman."
  • Lucky Strike 2 of 15
    Lucky Strike
    "Luckies are easy on my throat."
  • Murad 3 of 15
    Murad
    "What could you moreenjoy this Xmas than Murad?"
  • Chesterfield 4 of 15
    Chesterfield
    "There's lots more smoking pleasure to them."
  • Camel Cigarettes & Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco 5 of 15
    Camel  Cigarettes & Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco
    "Gifts that say "Merry Christmas with every puff."
  • Murad II 6 of 15
    Murad II
    "When I asked the grown-up to judge for themselves what Xmas present they wanted — they all chose Murad."
  • Camel 7 of 15
    Camel
    "Give Camels for Christmas in special Christmas wrappers."
  • Player’s 8 of 15
    Player's
    "The present no one ever exchanges as a Christmas gift."
  • Murad III 9 of 15
    Murad III
    "Everywhere — why?"
  • Camel Cigarettes & Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco II 10 of 15
    Camel Cigarettes & Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco II
    "2 Ways to Say: Merry Christmas . . . pleasant smoking!"
  • Chesterfield II 11 of 15
    Chesterfield II
    "Top off your gift bundles with these cheery cartons of Christmas Chesterfields . . . They satisfy."
  • Old Gold 12 of 15
    Old Gold
    "Smacked by a Sappy Santy? Light an Old Gold."
  • Murad IV 13 of 15
    Murad IV
    "I have to make special trips to supply all the people who want Murads for Christmas gifts."
  • Edgeworth II 14 of 15
    Edgeworth II
    ". . . and listen what Daddy wants . . ."
  • Egyptian Deities 15 of 15
    Egyptian Deities
    "The Utmost in Cigarettes."

All images from the collection of Stanford University and used with permission

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