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Women Smoker

June 13, 2012

I was waiting for my friends to join me at the coffee shop. Across the table was a nice looking woman in shirt and trouser, hair  impeccably neat , a laptop open on the table and with a cigarette in her hand. The woman puffs on her cigarette as if she is trying to reveal some mystery to me. Earlier there was a negative attitude towards women smoking but now people do not raise an eyebrow.

Women smoking

Women smoking

Came across an old newspaper report in Times of India, 2009,India third on global ‘female smoking list’. and statistics though old scared me:

  • Tobacco killed some six million people each year — more than a third of whom will die from cancer — and drained $500 billion annually from global economies.
  • About 250 million women in the world are daily smokers — 22% being from high resource countries and 9% from low and middle resource countries.
  • Female smokers in India die an average eight years earlier than their non-smoking peers.

Was the woman smoking  as a symbol of women liberation and freedom. We are equal to men syndrome? Or the reasons are same as that of men – to destress or they also got addicted in college. Started puffing because of peer pressure, to impress boys! Women destress themselves by crying, my sharing with friends. If the reason for her puffing was because of lack of sharing I am sad. Crying and sharing helps!

Smoking is injurious to health is written on the cover of the packet. The educated ones know that smoking causes cancer then why do they smoke?

I tried to find when did female smoking became acceptable and in which country? It was year 1929 in United States of America. Quoting from the article: US-Website of Public Relations: Torches of Freedom

By the mid-1920s smoking had become commonplace in the United States and cigarette tobacco was the most popular form of tobacco consumption. At the same time women had just won the right to vote, widows were succeeding their husbands as governors of such states as Texas and Wyoming, and more were attending college and entering the workforce. While women seemed to be making great strides in certain areas, socially they still were not able to achieve the same equality as their male counterparts. Women were only permitted to smoke in the privacy of their own homes. Public opinion and certain legislation at the time did not permit women to smoke in public, and in 1922 a woman from New York City was arrested for lighting a cigarette on the street.

George Washington Hill, president of the American Tobacco Company and an eccentric businessman, recognized that an important part of his market was not being tapped into. Hill believed that cigarette sales would soar if he could entice more women to smoke in public. In 1928 Hill hired Bernays to expand the sales of his Lucky Strike cigarettes. Recognizing that women were still riding high on the suffrage movement, Bernays used this as the basis for his new campaign

First Campaign for women smoker

I find women smoking a little difficult to digest..okay I agree I am old and conservative and I agree it’s her life . What about you?Why do you think women smoke?


From → Women Issues

  1. Man often smoke as a habit or when they r tensed..I hv seen many men who find solace in puffing a cigarette when tensed..but for women it is not the same..I hv seen lots of women who smoke but they smoke just because they want to smoke..but like u I too find it difficult to digest women smoking not because of any other reasons but because of health hazards related to it..

    • Thanks Ranita for your valuable input. Its beyond me why men smoke but for women…can’t digest it. A heavy price to pay for being cool.

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