Smoking Culture

August 21, 2010

In 1950s America, The Guardian UK describes smoking as the “epitome of cool and glamour“. Screen legends such as James Dean and Audrey Hepburn helped perpetual the “cool” culture and cigarettes were “cheap, legal and socially acceptable“. One of the most iconic advertisements was Philips Morris’ Malboro Man with the tagline “For man’s flavour come to Marlboro Country“.

After the link between lung cancer and other diseases to smoking, there has been a shift in the perception of the smoking culture. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, Manly and Mosman have now banned outdoor smoking. However Leidchardt mayor will not follow stating “There’s a strong cultural affinity for a lot of Italians with having a coffee and a cigarette“. The reinforces the stereotype that certain nationalities (e.g. Italians) have smoking as an integral part of their culture.

However as reported in The Culture of Smoking, poor African nations have seen a “surge in smoking is seen in young people under the age of 20 that constitute the majority of the continents population“. What draws them into the smoking culture? The article states “It starts with peer pressure, being exposed to second hand smoking, having parents and best friends who smoke. And for some, just simply to be cool“.

With the known health risks and the social stigma in society, will the smoking culture even vanish? I feel the smoking culture will always be part of current society. Even with certain drugs (e.g. heroin) made illegal, there are always people willing to find them and try. Cigarettes are much more readily available and it will appeal to a certain demographic of people.

References :

Smokers kicked to the kerb – then all over town
by Josephine Tovey- March 19, 2010
Sydney Morning Herald

When smoking was cool, cheap, legal and socially acceptable
by Jason Rodrigues- April 1 2009
The Guardian

The Culture of Smoking
by Henok Semaegzer Fente, November 30 2009


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