Selling the Modern Woman, 1920s–1990s

With cigarettes emerging as a mainstay of American life, women were increasingly recognized as an untapped potential market. Advertisements targeting women promoted cigarettes as a modern, pleasurable, extravagant, liberal departure from Victorian-era standards and constraints on femininity. More and more women began smoking cigarettes. Although colleges, legislatures, and anti-tobacco organizations initially attempted to regulate or prohibit women’s smoking, by the 1930s cigarettes were too mainstream to ban.

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