Fact Check

Is This a Real Vintage Device for Smoking a Whole Pack of Cigs at Once?

Model Frances Richards was photographed in 1955 supposedly inhaling 20 cigarettes at once through the contraption.

Published Oct 25, 2023

Updated Dec 5, 2023
Image Via Screengrab/Reddit
A 1950s photograph shows a genuine device that enabled its user to smoke an entire pack of 20 cigarettes at once.

A black-and-white photograph that featured a young woman with a rotary phone in one hand and a device holding 20 smoldering cigarettes in the other has been shared online to suggest that the smoking contraption was real.

By conducting a reverse-image search using Google Lens, Snopes found that the image has circulated online since at least 2015, in posts on social media platforms including Pinterest, Facebook, and Reddit:

Smoke an entire pack of cigarettes! Simultaneously!
byu/keraneuology inthisisarealthing

Snopes found that the image is authentic and hosted by the photography aggregating site Getty Images as part of a 12-image collection titled, "13 Inventions Not Likely To Be At CES Gallery," and included in the pop history record, Hulton Archive. The photo was taken on Jan. 1, 1955, according to Getty.

Though the photo itself is genuine, Snopes was not able to determine at the time of this publication whether the device was real. It was unknown whether it indeed allowed a user to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes at once — nor whether it was produced as an authentic item for commercial sale or a single prop made for creative or editorial purposes.

Snopes contacted Karen Leach, a manager of data at Getty Images archive, for more information. Leach said after checking "the original and day books" associated with the image, "there is no indication" of whether the device was a commercial item or "dreamt up for the photo shoot."

"It will remain another mystery at the Archive!" Leach wrote.

Embed from Getty Images

Titled “Chain Smoker” in Getty's database, the photograph was captured by a photographer simply identified as “Jacobsen." Its Getty Images record states that it features model “Frances Richards” as she “smokes a pack of cigarettes all on one cigarette holder.”

A disclaimer in the image's description read:

Please note: images depicting historical events may contain themes, or have descriptions, that do not reflect current understanding. They are provided in a historical context.

Snopes has a history of investigating the origins of what appear to be bizarre inventions of the past, such as plastic cone-shaped face masks to supposedly protect people against snowstorms, for example.


13 Inventions Not Likely To Be At Ces Pictures Gallery - Getty Images. https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/sets/hlPdkO7VhUOkaky9axTnug/13-inventions-not-likely-to-be-at-ces. Accessed 22 Oct. 2023.

Dapcevich, Madison. “Vintage Pic Shows Bizarre ‘Blizzard Cones’ To Protect Faces from Snow?” Snopes, 3 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/vintage-pic-cones-mask/.

Evon, Dan. “Snopes Tips: A Guide To Performing Reverse Image Searches.” Snopes, 22 Mar. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/articles/400681/how-to-perform-reverse-image-searches/.

Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/HISTORY/posts/model-frances-richards-smokes-a-pack-of-cigarettes-all-on-one-cigarette-holder-c/10155130480821184/. Accessed 22 Oct. 2023.

Google Lens. https://lens.google.com/search?p=AbrfA8qM37QhlRmErFHRd73X2VaRmxz-kDxvCldmDA7DNncwXyx0yhewKfvi6dDoz3fA4qYenNVEpERJNVo0afyKKDBjspaDs6TQ7eMjvQ2RoXK8WDqsgTyFFnsCZcfytKo7W0KBY-0WjvwUgqY3iVbeHf86uX7FKDE97SNkBHLNykDqPMwi9tV4HE3YEPQ96DiknwsHcjs01unFmZaFA-sh1YbjJrHe_cvcBdPd-_GQjd1DTKf0Ogyzq7qTaeBX7JLYaoUirFLhDnHdDhuwGCYiiTX-awUHMOBkvuWp-a4peDAacJVVRt1ZkFAKRz1oV1vcCXp8bf8XQvd-&plm=ChAIDxIMCN6p1qkGEPCxpL4DChAIFxIMCN6p1qkGEPClqL4DCg8IGBILCN%2Bp1qkGEKCE5DUKDwgtEgsI36nWqQYQqKjlNQoPCC4SCwjfqdapBhCo4%2BM9Cg8IEBILCN%2Bp1qkGEKjksz8KDwgZEgsI36nWqQYQoLG3PwoPCBoSCwjfqdapBhDApsU/#lns=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLG51bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLG51bGwsIkVrY0tKREJoTVRRME9UZzVMV0ptTURVdE5ETTFZeTA1TWpFeExXTmlOMkUzTW1RMk1XTXhNUklmU1ROQ2RYTkVSa2hCVjFsUmEwaDRiR3BST0hJemVDMVpZMEZIVm5SU1p3PT0iXQ==. Accessed 22 Oct. 2023.

“Hulton Archive Collection | Getty Images.” Gettyimages.Com, https://www.gettyimages.com/collections/hulton-archive. Accessed 22 Oct. 2023.

keraneuology. “Smoke an Entire Pack of Cigarettes! Simultaneously!” R/Thisisarealthing, 18 Sept. 2015, www.reddit.com/r/thisisarealthing/comments/3lgbxq/smoke_an_entire_pack_of_cigarettes_simultaneously/

“Model Frances Richards Smokes a Pack of Cigarettes All on One...” Getty Images, https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/news-photo/model-frances-richards-smokes-a-pack-of-cigarettes-all-on-news-photo/2716512. Accessed 22 Oct. 2023.

“Pinterest.” Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/. Accessed 22 Oct. 2023.


Dec. 5, 2023: This report was updated to include a response to Snopes' inquiry about the photo from a representative of Getty Images archive.

Madison Dapcevich is a freelance contributor for Snopes.