Why is there so much smoking in "I Love Lucy"?
It just seems crazy today. I know smoking was more accepted in the past than it is today, but “I Love Lucy,” especially the earlier episodes, seems like one big smoking ad.
Well, I Love Lucy was literally sponsored by Phillip Morris, a cigarette company. In fact, in the show’s earlier years, Phillip Morris was its only sponsor, and all of that smoking was product placement—and during commercial slots, outright advertisement from Lucy and Desi.
I Love Lucy aired in the 1950s, a time when the tide hadn’t quite shifted when it came to attitudes toward smoking. Smoking prevalence only began decreasing in 1964 (seven years after I Love Lucy stopped airing) as the health risks became more apparent to the public. In 1970, cigarette advertisements were banned from radio and television altogether.
The Commandment Not to smoke was not being obeyed, and people healths went down. My dad and his brothers all died in from 36-45 from smoking causes. By this time lots of others were dying from smoking; so advertisement for smoking were made illegal.
Prayers were removed from public schools in 1963 and carrying for others decreased also.
Old Dragnet radio shows, still have their smoking advertisements included.