Fatima (cigarette) – A Shocker!

Fatima print advertisement ca. 1951 featuring ...
Image via Wikipedia

I ran across this picture while reading some rss feeds and was shocked to find out that this product was a big seller here in the US of A! For some strange reason I never heard about this brand of cigarettes and believe me, I was a heavy smoker until 1964. That’s when I gave up smoking for good! I even know the exact day: March 10, 1964. Why? Because that was the day my wife Marianne gave birth to my first-born son, John. I was sitting in the kitchen, smoking and drinking coffee, waiting for the hospital to call (I had taken Marianne to the local hospital when her labor pains started and then took our 3 year old daughter home so she could get to bed) and the doctor called and said: “It’s a boy!” I immediately threw the pack of cigarettes in the trash can and vowed to never smoke again for my new born son’s sake. Here it is 2011 and I kept that vow cause I never did smoke since that day! God is great and I’m sure He was the one who inspired me to give up smoking so that I would be around to take care of my wife Marianne as she struggles with her kidney failure.

Here’s the story from Wikipedia:

Fatima Cigarettes (pronounced fa-TEE-ma) was a brand of cigarette produced in the United States by the Liggett & Myers (L&M) tobacco company. The brand dates to the 19th century, and was marketed as an exotic blend of Turkish tobaccos. The name Fatima, a common Turkish or Arabic woman’s name, helped bolster the Turkish image. Before around 1950, the package design included a stylized image of a veiled Middle Eastern woman.


Fatima print advertisement ca. 1949 featuring ...
Image via Wikipedia


The brand is perhaps best remembered today by old time radio buffs. In the late 1940s, L&M converted the brand to a king-sized version and began an extensive radio advertising campaign. Fatima was the sole sponsor of the early years of the Dragnet radio series. The creator and star of Dragnet, Jack Webb, voiced a number of on-air pitches for the brand and appeared in print advertising as well. There was also a short-lived mystery anthology series called Tales of Fatima, hosted by Basil Rathbone. (Anecdotally, a Boston pharmacist who had smoked Fatima’s for years, after WW II noted a lack of Turkish tobaccos and wrote the manufacturer with his concerns. They apologized and sent a carton of some other brand they manufactured, even more lacking in any exotic leaf.)

The brand’s old-fashioned image caused it to lose market share from the mid-1950s onward, and L&M eventually phased it out by around 1980.

You all know that I have a strong devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and the three seers, Sister Lucia, whose cause for beatification I pray for each day, and Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta. It was a book titled ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ by William T. Walsh that really started my conversion and devotion to Jesus and Mary and shaped my whole Roman Catholic Faith in a more traditional and Marian way.


Lucia Santos (age 10, pictured in the middle) ...
Image via Wikipedia

After that book, I started reading as much as I could regarding Our Lady’s apparitions and also the lives of the Saints. Catholic books are plentiful and amazing. There is so much to learn about God and His Saints! I can never get enough! I guess that’s what it will be like in Heaven, infinite knowledge, never ending bliss; always learning something new and wonderful about God and creation. I can’t wait to get there!!!

The image of Our Lady of Fátima present in the...
Image via Wikipedia
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6 thoughts on “Fatima (cigarette) – A Shocker!

  1. FATIMA in Portugal was named after the favorite daughter of Mohamed, in the days when Islam invaded Spain, Portugal, Greek Islands etc…
    That the apparitions of our Lady happened right there at that place is very significant. Really nothing happens without a reason.
    Fatima hope for the world, apocalyptic vision.

  2. I was looking for information regarding Fatima cigarettes when I found your article. We listen to the old Dragnet series each night at bedtime. They keep advertising those cigarettes, and like you,neither my husband or I ever heard of them. Enjoyed your article. God bless you!

    • Interesting. I too listen daily to the old Dragnet radio broadcasts on the national archives site. Those Fatima commercials are something else. Everyone I talked too has never heard of that brand. Great throwback experience

  3. Enjoyed your article and testimonial to quitting smoking for your kids’ sake. I heard of Fatima Cigarettes today from reading an ad in “The American Magazine” of January 1919, my parents and ancestors before then had somehow saved. The 1919 ad (actually produced during later 1918 – WWI still going)
    The ad states: “FATIMA, A Sensible Cigarette. Men who think straight and decide quickly like a cigarette that besides pleasing their taste, leaves them feeling fit throughout the day.”
    The main ad copy is about how the big business and professional men visiting the Capitol building in Washington DC prefer Fatima Cigarettes in the 6 tobacco stands in the Capitol building.

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