Slide Show: The Bad Old Days When Everybody Smoked in L.A.


Since 1976 the American Cancer Society has held the Great American Smokeout every Third Thursday in November. For a while they had celebrity ambassadors like Ed Asner and Sammy Davis, Jr. but the idea has always been the same: Convince people to stop smoking.

More than 40 million Americans still use tobacco, which remains the single largest preventable cause of death in the United States. It only takes a trip to Vegas to remember what it was like when cigarettes were lit up all around you.

Before no-smoking laws were enacted in California (the most recent one banned cigarettes on restaurant patios in 2011) the fumes flowed everywhere—movie theaters, hotel rooms, even airplanes. Today, it’s hard to imagine eating dinner inside a toxic cloud. Here is a look back at Los Angeles when smoking was ubiquitous.