Women and Smoking in America, 1880–1950


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About the Book

During the last 20 years of the 19th century, cigarette smoking was transformed from a lower-class habit to a favored form of tobacco use for men and practically the only form available to women. The trend continued to grow through the 1950s, when smoking was a significant part of America’s social fabric for both men and women.
This social history traces the evolution of women’s smoking in the United States from 1880 to 1950. From 1880 to 1908, women were not allowed to smoke in public places, with strong opposition based on moral concerns. Most smoking was done by upper class women in the home, at private parties, or at socials. By 1908, women smokers went public in greater numbers and challenged the prejudices against smoking that applied to them alone. By 1919, most restaurants allowed women to smoke, though most other public places did not permit it. More and more women smokers went public in the period between 1919 and 1927, with college students leading the way. By 1928, advertisers began to target female smokers, and over the next two decades women smokers gradually gained equality with male smokers.

About the Author(s)

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking, shoplifting and ticket-scalping. He lives in British Columbia.

Bibliographic Details

Kerry Segrave
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 251
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2212-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2037-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Years to 1880      3

2. The Status of the Cigarette, 1860s–1930s      9

3. Abroad, 1880–1908      13

4. America, 1880–1908      21

5. The Opposition, 1880–1908      36

6. Abroad, 1908–1919      50

7. America, 1908–1919      58

8. The Opposition, 1908–1919      78

9. Abroad, 1919–1927      94

10. America, 1919–1927      98

11. The Opposition, 1919-1927      131

12. Abroad, 1927–1950      151

13. America, 1927–1950      156

14. The Opposition, 1927–1950      202

15. Conclusion      212

Notes      217

Bibliography      229

Index      239