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Fatima print advertisement ca. 1949 featuring Basil Rathbone, star of the Tales of Fatima radio series.
Fatima print advertisement ca. 1951 featuring Jack Webb of Dragnet. The redesigned package removed the veiled woman image.

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.

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.

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.

Jean Harlow stated that Fatima was her favorite brand of cigarettes.

In popular culture

  • Among John O'Hara's best-known short stories is the 1966 "Fatimas and Kisses".
  • In Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, the detective Lew Basnight smokes a Fatima cigarette on the porch of the Royal Jacaranda Courts hotel in Santa Barbara while he waits for a partner to inspect the toilet of an investigative scene (Page 1044, The Penguin Press, New York 2006)


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