Young Woman Smoking
Museum no. PH.155-1985
Given by Mrs Greta Jackson, wife of the photographer
At the beginning of the 20th century most people disapproved of women smoking, and it was seen as a very masculine habit and a sign of loose morals. But attitudes changed significantly over the next twenty years.
Women were targeted by tobacco manufacturers in the 1920s and 1930s with advertisements that suggested that smoking was glamorous. Film stars such as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis were used to promote the idea that smoking was associated with style and sex appeal.
By the 1930s smoking was a widespread habit amongst men and women. The dangers of smoking were then barely recognised. In fact cigarettes were often advertised as being beneficial to health in some ways - for example smoking was thought to calm the nerves, and was also promoted as a means of staying slim.
This print can be found in Prints and Drawings Study Room box EDUC 5.