Women and Cigarettes

October 10th, 2014 00:00

The wide spread of tobacco product' advertisements in the United States is considered a real 20th century trend. Generally, the huge popularity of cigarettes in the United States is associated with their connection to soldiers in the period of both World War I and World War II; however the cigarette's popularity among women is a completely different story.

In the 20th the century, women that lighted up thought to be immoral, as "upright" ladies didn't smoke.

Still, after World War I, when thousands of their male counterparts picked up the smoking habit, numerous ladies did the same. This period of time is also identified as the Roaring Twenties, the era where the flapper started reconsidering what it meant to be a true woman. For young ladies of those times, cigarette smoking was a stylish and trendy habit. It was undoubtedly a certain political picture of their new found freedom.

Already, by the middle of 20's, cigarette smoking was popular among fashionable young women, however it was fairly good conduct. Smoking woman was still seen as the one without any sign of morals.

Sigmund Freud nephew, Edward Bernays, used his uncle's tactics of psychoanalysis and some ideas of propaganda and applied them to extend this domain. In 1929, Bernays started to work at American Tobacco Corporation, where he was developing the ideal approach to persuade women to start smoking.

By appealing to women, the major advertising campaign that appeared with Bernays' public relations plan had an amazing impact on the sale of cigarettes; the amount of smoking products sold in the United States has risen between 1925 and 1930. By 1944 already 36% of women smoked.

For ladies, cigarette consumption evolved into a lot more than just a trend, it became a symbol of women's independence. Taking into account the quite interesting connection between feminism and cigarette use it tends to be amazingly that, Virginia Slims, the first lady's cigarette brand, was presented only at the rise of the second feminist wave in 1968.

Using the slogan, "You have come a long way, baby" Virginia Slims appealed to ladies. Virginia Slims maker when commenting on that successful advertising campaign, stated: "It was never feminist to that level as liberationists, in the sense that the slogan really advised, 'You've got a lot of options now.'"

Looking at statistics of these days, where around 23 million women smoke cigarettes in the US, indisputably we have come a long way, baby.

By Steve Shepherd, Staff Writer.
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