Don’t be foolish, take your doctor’s advice: Smoke a fresh cigarette. From the 1930s to the 1950s, advertising’s most powerful phrase—“doctors recommend”—was paired with the world’s deadliest consumer product. Cigarettes weren't seen as dangerous then, but they still made smokers cough. To allay fears, tobacco brands hired throat “doctors” (that is, models dressed in white coats) to explain that dust, germs or a lack of menthol were to blame, not the cigs themselves.
While nearly every brand used this dubious marketing approach—including Dunhill, whose doctor claimed you could “cut down on smoking” while still firing up a pack a day)—the prime offender was Camel, which cited an incredible study that found “more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Turns out, this “independent research” was the work of the William Esty Co., R.J. Reynolds' ad agency. Participating doctors were paid, too—with cartons of Camels.