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Flappers and Cigarettes: Smoking Becomes Acceptable in Women

 After World War I, younger women began to reject old ways and customs and embraced more modern styles of dress and behavior. Flappers emerged after World War I, and were identified as younger women who wore shorter skirts, their hair in a bob and were sometimes also feminists. Cigarettes became an integral part of the flapper persona. Taboos against smoking lingered, with negative connotations for women. The challenge for cigarette manufacturers was to make the adaptation of cigarettes among some women more acceptable to a wider group of women and to society in general.

In this change was an opportunity for the tobacco industry, which began to advertise cigarettes directly to women. These often featured celebrities or society women endorsing the cigarette, and sometimes showed cigarettes as part of an elegant life. In these advertisements can be seen an attempt to link cigarettes to unrelated characteristics which a women might aspire to: glamour, fame, sophistication and elegance. 

While cigarettes started to be advertised to women, manufacturers recognized that in women they had a huge untapped market. They would start to look for ways beyond simple advertising to encourage cigarette smoking in women.

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