Do Cool Girls Still Smoke? Smoking and Beauty in the 21st Century

It’s normal for us to accessorize our outfits to portray a particular image. That’s what fashion is all about — at least, according to Thorstein Veblen. He posits that because of conspicuous consumption, we tend to purchase leisure commodities for what they symbolize in terms of identity and status. Do Cool Girls Still Smoke?

Achieving the image of a “cool girl” can mean accessorizing yourself with a tobacco stick. Today’s youths have normalized cigarette use, says an opinion write-up in The Summit Pinnacle on the comeback of cigarettes. This can be attributed to the glamorizing of cigarettes through media and popular, drug-heavy TV shows like Euphoria.

Do Cool Girls Still Smoke?

Let’s take a closer look at the comeback of smoking in the beauty industry below.

The origins of smoking and beauty

Women were once the sole target of cigarette advertisements during the early twentieth century. The 1920s saw the fashionable and daring woman emerge in cigarette packaging and short skirts. Later, the 1930s saw a glamorous beauty, dripping in jewelry while puffing on a stick.

The Great Depression further emphasized this image, and advertisements would entice women to indulge in a taste of luxury via cigarettes. In 1934, Lucky Strike even staged a “Green Ball” at the Waldorf-Astoria to encourage partygoers to accessorize with the then-Green packet of Lucky Strike cigarettes.

These advertisements transformed smoking into a status symbol. By the 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent had designed a women’s tuxedo with satin labels for smokers, entitled ‘Le Smoking.’ Smoking continued to appear in fashion advertisements, and in the 1980s, this aesthetic came to be known as “heroin chic.”

Smoking trends of the 21st century
Recent years have seen significant regulations surrounding tobacco advertisements. With more restrictions on tobacco products, there’s been a commensurate rise in cigarette alternatives.

E-cigarettes became the most popular alternative in 2014, and researchers have identified peer influence and social acceptance as factors for their appeal. In 2022, the FDA launched a crackdown on flavored nicotine products and consequently banned the sale of Juul e-cigarettes in the U.S, in hopes that tobacco users would opt for safer alternatives towards cessation such as gums or pouches.

The original nicotine gum produced by Nicorette or the unflavored nicotine pouches at Prilla are equally accessible and do not pose the same fire hazard as e-cigarettes do. Because they contain zero tobacco, these NRT options do not harm a user’s oral hygiene. Tobacco is a top cause of stained teeth of tooth decay, as we’ve discussed in Improve Your Smile. This means that quitting cigarettes can also be linked with preserving beauty, health, and natural assets.


What do you think about smoking? Do Cool Girls Still Smoke?