Today, we’re going to take a step back in time and talk about women smoking cigarettes in the 1920s. Picture this: flappers with their bobbed hair, short skirts, and iconic long cigarette holders, all against a backdrop of jazz music, speakeasies, and newfound freedoms. Exciting, right? So, let’s delve into the fascinating world of women smokers during the Roaring Twenties.
The 1920s was a time of significant change for women, both socially and politically. After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women gained the right to vote in the United States. This was a huge step forward and a catalyst for women to start challenging traditional gender roles. The newfound independence and freedom allowed women to explore various aspects of their lives, including their relationship with cigarettes.
Before the 1920s, smoking cigarettes was considered a strictly masculine activity, and women were not supposed to partake in it. If a woman was seen smoking, it was often viewed as scandalous and improper. But as the decade progressed, the taboos around women smoking started to break down.
Enter the flapper! The term “flapper” was used to describe young women in the 1920s who were defying conventional norms by dressing more provocatively, dancing to jazz music, and – you guessed it – smoking cigarettes. Flappers were seen as rebellious, adventurous, and liberated women who embraced their newfound freedom with open arms.
As cigarette smoking became more popular among women, tobacco companies were quick to take advantage of the trend. They started targeting female consumers by creating advertisements that specifically appealed to them. Some ads suggested that smoking was a way for women to assert their independence, while others promoted cigarettes to stay slim and maintain a slender figure.
Cigarette companies even introduced new products specifically designed for women. For example, they created cigarette holders and cases that were more delicate and feminine in design, as well as slim and elegant cigarettes that were marketed as being “made for women’s lips.”
But it wasn’t just about looking fashionable or flouting societal norms. Smoking also became a symbol of female camaraderie. Women would gather in groups to smoke and socialize, creating a sense of sisterhood and solidarity in the face of traditional gender expectations.
Of course, we can’t ignore the health consequences of smoking. Even back then, there were people who were aware of the dangers associated with smoking, but the majority of the population was still in the dark. It wasn’t until decades later that the risks of smoking became widely known and accepted.
Below are some historical photos of women with cigarettes form the 1920s.