Culture Of Smoking

1836 Words8 Pages
Introduction: The culture of smoking
The culture of smoking in many shapes and forms has been accepted in all kinds of art. Its presence has caused many distinct and many times conflicting meanings depending on the various conditions of time. Pipe smoking was considered one of the most famous forms of smoking until recently. Today, it is associated with old age and it is considered old-fashioned and many times peculiar. Cigarette smoking, on the other hand, which started getting popular only in the 19th century, is associated with modernity, masculinity and power which makes them more appealing to the audiences. This kind of image is associated with capitalism and in fact, some evidence suggests that men with higher than average testosterone
…show more content…
The newly empowered working class also discovered a new dimension and a new allurement in smoking, seeing it as a harmless pleasure. Men of every age enjoyed smoking in saloons and libraries. Smoking a cigarette or a cigar would also become associated with the bohemian, those who shunned the conservative middle class values and displayed their contempt for moderation. But this was a pleasure only men could enjoy since women that smoked were associated with prostitution, immorality and a perspective that supported that smoking was a horrible habit for a proper lady to have. It wasn’t until the geginning of the 20th century that smoking women were allowed to smoke let alone appear in paintings and photos, giving a stylish and elegant impression. Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh, who was a pipe smoker himself, would also begin to associate smoking with sorrow and fin-du-siècle fatalism. Cigarette, pipes and cigars were respectively consolidated in the late 19th century but it wasn’t until the 20th century that artists began to use it fully and properly. A pipe would represent thoughtfulness and calmness as the cigarette symbolized modernity, strength and youth, but also a bit of anxiety. The cigar, on the other hand, was a sign of authority, wealth, power and of course masculinity. The decades that followed World War II, smoking reached its highest point and at that time,…show more content…
Smokers are often eccentric characters with great individuality. Sherlock Holmes is the most iconic smoking literary figure of all. Other than being a frequent part of short stories and novels, smoking has spawned endless praise, admiring its qualities and creating a perspective that the author is a devoted smoker, just like their character. Especially during the late 19th century and early 20th century, a display of books with titles like Tobacco: Its History and associations, Cigarettes in Fact and Fancy and Pipe and Pouch: The Smokers Own Book of Poetry, were written in the UK and the US. These titles were written by men for men and contained general tidbits and poetic musings about the love for tobacco and all things related to it, and frequently praised the refined bachelor's life. These works were all published in an era before the cigarette had gained the popular form and the variety that it has today. Everything was still being processed. Many of the books were published in novel packaging and often, they would attract gentleman that wanted to learn more about tobacco. Pipe and Pouch came in a leather bag resembling a tobacco pouch and Cigarettes in Fact and Fancy published in 1901, came bound in leather, packaged in an imitation cardboard of a cigar box. By the late 1920s, the publication of this type of literature largely abated and was only sporadically revived later in the 20th
Open Document