Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
Origins: At times the names of products prompt legends about their origins, with speculation as to their meanings giving rise to unusual beliefs. One such error-laden hypothesis exists about Lucky Strike, a brand of cigarette popular with American consumers in times past.
According to rumor, the brand's name is a reflection of what was supposedly found in some packs or cartons of these cigarettes: marijuana. The buzz has existed for many years that Lucky Strike smokers were engaged in a form of illegal substance lotto, with
As to how often a marijuana cigarette is said to be included with regular Luckies, we've heard it as: "every so often," "1 in every
The rumor about marijuana being secreted in packs of Luckies is even said (by some, at least) to have prompted another aspect of cigarette lore, the practice of reversing one cigarette in each newly opened pack and christening it the "luck" or "wish" cigarette, but whether there was any connection between the origins of that practice and the Lucky Strike rumor has not been substantiated:
With regard to the practice of turning over a cigarette in the pack as a "lucky", I was told this came from Lucky Strikes cigarettes as one of the cigarettes in the pack contained a mixture of tobacco and marijuana, thus the "Lucky Strike". When a pack was opened, the smoker would search the pack to find the "Lucky Strike", then turn it over to save it for last.
In 1903 Lucky Strike was sold to
Although Lucky Strike lacks any connection to self-medicating with marijuana, at one time it was positioned as a diet aid. The brand was the first to connect smoking to weight loss with an advertising campaign targeted to women that advocated lighting up as the way to combat sugar cravings. In the 1920s and 1930s, ads for the cigarette told women "When tempted, reach for a Lucky instead; you will thus avoid overindulgence in things that cause excess weight." That campaign worked: "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet" was associated with a
Barbara "a 200 percent increase in other things can be gained by reaching for your sweetie instead of a Lucky" Mikkelson
Last updated: 26 May 2011
Neuborne, Ellen. "WWII Legacy: Image Advertising." USA Today. 6 June 1994 (p. B3). Thompson, Toby. "Pack Art: Wreathed in the Smoke of Dreams." The Washington Post. 8 November 1981 (Weekend; p. 22).