Monday, November 9, 2009

Fags: A sexy, soothing antidote to nervous tension, irritability and depression...

A researcher by the name of Penny Tinkler, in her book Smoke signals: Women, smoking and visual culture provides the following observations:
  • The feminisation of cigarettes began in the 1920s and by the 1930s they were available in Woolworths stores in Britain.
  • Cigarette companies introduced coupons which the housewife could exchange for pullovers, a thermos, cameras and the like
  • Woodbine had painting books for children and the famous Woodbine Model Farm
  • Wills bought advertising space on behalf of the Boy Scouts' Association ('Courtesy Capstan Cigarettes)
  • Older women were able to smoke cigarettes because of their sexual 'availability' but eventually it was OK for young women to be sexy too.
Tinkler explains how cigarettes were used to quell a sad marriage or keep women company when they moved out of home for the first time.  She says (and I quote)

The cigarette provides a soothing antidote to nervous tension, irritability, depression, boredom and worry...the same effect as the asprin.

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