Mad Men: “Why I’m Quitting Tobacco” transcript

Mad Men "Blowing Smoke"

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) contemplates addiction in "Blowing Smoke"

Here’s the full text of Don Draper’s open letter to the New York Times featured in the Mad Men” episode “Blowing Smoke”:


Why I’m Quitting Tobacco

Recently, my advertising agency ended a long relationship with Lucky Strike Cigarettes – and I’m relieved.

For over 25 years, we devoted ourselves to peddling a product for which good work is irrelevant – because people can’t stop themselves from buying it.  A product that never improves, causes illness and makes people unhappy.

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But there was money in it, a lot of money.  In fact, our entire business depended on it.  We knew it wasn’t good for us, but we couldn’t stop.

And then, when Lucky Strike moved their business elsewhere, I realized here was my chance to be someone who could sleep at night – because I know what I’m selling doesn’t kill my customers.

So as of today, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will no longer take tobacco accounts.

We know it’s going to be hard.  If you’re interested in cigarette work, here’s a list of agencies that do it well:  BVDO, Leo Burnett, McCann Erickson, Cutler Gleason and Chaough and Benton & Bowles.

As for us, we welcome all other business because we’re certain that our best work is still ahead of us.


Donald F. Draper

Creative Director, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

Jason KobelyMad Men: “Why I’m Quitting Tobacco” transcript