Lori Henriksen

author of The Winter Loon



In The Winter Loon, all the cowgirls roll their own smokes. Rollie theaches Ruth the technique, and Ruth takes up smoking right away, splurging on cheap loose tobacco and rolling papers. Back home, Ruth stops smoking to save money until she meets Gisela who offers her a Pall Mall from the red and white package.

No wonder women in the 1930s were hooked on cigarettes.

Cigarettes were chic:



Cigarettes were sexually alluring:




Cigarettes were healthy and good for you:





Here are some interesting facts from an American Public Health Association article: The Physician in U.S. cigarette advertising 1930-1953.

During the 1920s, the first medical reports linking smoking to cancer appeared. Many newspaper editors refused to publish rather than offend tobacco companies and lose advertising dollars.

Advertising slogans in the 1930s promoted the advantages of smoking. A Luckies campaign extolled the virtues of staying slim – “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” Another Luckies ad suggested: 20,679 physicians say Luckies are less irritating.

Phillip Morris jumped on the bandwagon in 1937, taking an ad in The Saturday Evening Post that said, “According to a group of doctors . . . when smokers changed to Phillip Morris, every case of irritation cleared completely and definitely improved.

Advertisements appeared in medical journals for the first time in the 1930s–tobacco companies’ effort to develop a symbiotic relationship with physicians.

It wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s that major medical reports confirmed smoking causes serious disease.

4 thoughts on “Smoking

  1. I’m a smoker myself, so this isn’t a judgey comment but I always wonder about people who started smoking before it was publicly announced to be bad for you. I mean come on, how can you suck something that’s burning into your lungs and not realise it’s not good for you!

    • That’s a good point. I think advertising influences us more than what is just logical. When people in the 30s were told that cigarettes keep you thin and it’s verified by doctors, their subconscious mind believes it. Besides nicotine is highly addictive and hard to give up no matter what we are told or know.

  2. I was rewatching Blade Runner the other day and was laughing because of all the smoking going on and it’s supposed to take place in 2019. Times have definitely changed.

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

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