ASOS Soft Trapeze Midi Drouser Dress with Pep Hem in Polka Dot; Fashion Over 50; Smoking & Fashion

Fashion and cigarettes go way back.  Perhaps as an act of defiance or as a sophisticated style statement?  Unless you’re wearing a smoking jacket or cigarette pants, smoking is not a chic fashion accessory.

ASOS Soft Trapeze Midi Drouser Dress with Pep Hem in Polka Dot; Fashion Over 50; Smoking & Fashion

In 1908, New York City passed a municipal law banning women from smoking in public places.  Apparently, only ladies with loose morals lit up. The mayor at the time vetoed the ordinance two-weeks later. 

ASOS Polka Dot Dress with Pep Hem; Fashion Over 50; Smoking & Fashion
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. Wearing: On repeat – Macy’s Alfani Metallic Short Trench similar here in Rose Gold Biker Jacket, Asos Soft Trapeze Midi  Dress with Pep Hem in Polka Dot, and Jeffrey Siren Velvet Cheetah Bootie sold out but similar here.

It’s not surprising the Women’s Suffrage Movement originated in New York.  The smoking ban development helped to usher the way for the 19th Amendment to the U.S.Constitution:  Women’s Right to Vote in 1920.

1920s Luck Strike Cigarette Ad; Smoking & Women
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. 1920s Lucky Strike Ad is targeting women to “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.”


The American Tobacco Company’s Lucky Strike brand launched their first significant cigarette ad targeting women. Why?  Suggested as a way to control one’s appetite in the 1920s. Meanwhile, the Hollywood studios glamourized smoking cigarettes with women elegantly styled in the movies.

1962 photo of Chanel holding a cigarette; Smoking & Women
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. 1962 photo of Gabriel “Coco” Chanel is holding a cigarette. She smoked several packs of cigarettes a day for most of her life.  She died January 10, 1971, at the age of 87.
Elsa Schiparelli smoking a cigarette; Women & SMoking
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. Elsa Schiaparelli is smoking a cigarette.  She died in Paris at the age of eighty-three.


An Unusual Fashion Accessory - Cigarettes. Diana Vreeland holding a cigarette; Women & Smoking
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. Editor, Diane Vreeland posing with a cigarette.  She died of a heart attack at the age of 85. Diana, a chain-smoker of Lucky Strikes.


Betty Davis in All About Eve Smoking
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. 1950 photo of Actress Betty Davis in “All About Eve” lighting up a cigarette.  In 1983, Davis diagnosed with Breast Cancer, after undergoing a Mastectomy within two weeks of surgery she suffered four strokes. She died in 1989 at the age of 89, all the while still smoking up to 100 cigarettes a day.


Audrey Hepburn died from Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. 1961 Breakfast at Tiffany’s photo of actress Audrey Hepburn, life-long 2+ pack a day smoker. She died in 1993, age 64 of Appendiceal cancer, 3-months after diagnosis.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Smoking a Cigarette
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is smoking a cigarette.  She had a three-pack-a-day habit for over forty years. Jacqueline died in 1974 at the age of 72 from Lymphoma (a blood cancer)


As a child, I remember the Surgeon General’s warning people of the danger associated with cigarette smoking.  In 1969, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act passed in Congress.  It imposed a ban on cigarette advertising on television and radio after September 30, 1970. 

Cigarette Vending Machine; Smoking & Women
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory. A Cigarette Vending Machine.

Who remembers cigarette vending machines? The ban on smoking on airplanes? The no smoking inside or now outside certain buildings, hospitals, non-and nonsmoking seating sections in restaurants?

Virginia Slim Cigarette Ad; WOmen & Smoking
Smoking Is Not A Chic Fashion Accessory.  Stephen Burrows clothing in Virginia Slims Advertisement.

Just 4-years after the Surgeon General implicated cigarettes in lung and heart disease, tobacco company Phillip Morris launched Virginia Slims.  The campaign explicitly marketed to young professional women. Remember the tagline, “You’ve come a long way baby.”  We have come a long way but no need to smoke to prove it.

Risk Factors for Developing Lung Cancer:
♠  Family History
♠  Prior Medical HIstory of Lung Cancer or Disease
♠  Exposure to Asbestos, Smoke, or Radon
♠  Poor Diet
♠  Cigarette Smoking
♠  Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

In this day and age, it’s sad to say that women are the most significant victims of smoking.  The latest data reports female smokers diagnosed with lung cancer more than men smokers.  Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and respiratory illnesses such as COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Know the risk factors⇑.

♠  Persistent Cough
♠  Ongoing Chest Pain
♠  Coughing Up Blood
♠  Shortness of Breath
♠  Wheezing
♠  Horseness of the Voice
♠  Difficulty Swallowing
♠  Loss of Appetite
♠  Weight Loss
♠  Fatigue
♠  Recurrent Lung Infections Such as Pneumonia or Bronchitis
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.

2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark surgeon general’s report that launched the anti-smoking movement. All these years later and still the surprising number of people that still smoke.  Many regulations put in place to discourage smoking.

In 1964, the cost of cigarettes ranged from 35 cents to 50 cents a pack. Today, the price is in the state of Pennsylvania is $9.50 per pack.  New York, the most expensive at $12.60. I tried smoking when in college, The headaches too severe to continue.  Smoking is an addiction that requires a behavioral modification as well as smoking cessation program to quit successfully. 

Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Smoking, An Unusual Fashion Accessory. What smoker quit smoking. Image credit:

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 16. A perfect time to make that commitment to stop with the encouragement of others if you smoke.

The tobacco companies did an excellent job appealing to smoke to control their weight.  Hopefully, by now women realize that smoking is not a chic fashion accessory.

Thank you for reading.  Have a fabulous, stylish and healthy week.