A social trend that was just starting.
Cigarettes were becoming popular around the mid 19th century in most parts of the civilized world. An offspring to cigars, cigarettes were smaller and easier to handle, more convenient size to carry around, and as time went on, made with processed tobacco and filters so they were also more palatable.
Additionally, the smell of cigarettes was not as strong as that of most cigars, so that also made them more attractive.
Around the time of the Civil War, men smoked cigars, pipes and cigarettes frequently. Like drinking, using tobacco was considered a normal part of everyday life and not at all taboo.
Stop the press. While men were beginning to prefer cigarettes to cigars more and more, especially for casual smoking, it was considered very impolite and unattractive for a woman to smoke. Anytime. Anywhere. Period.
That remained so until well past the turn of the 20th century, and was one of the many things that made the Flappers of the 1920s such rebels. Not to worry. My story will include at least one woman who was grandmother to one of the most rebellious Flappers of them all.
No concerns about them.
There were believed to be few, if any, health problems associated with using tobacco in the mid-19th century, which is one reason why the new and improved form of a cigar caught on so quickly.
Cigarettes were the modern man’s answer to using tobacco. They were stylish and sleek but still had plenty of masculine appeal.
Because tobacco was not considered to be hazardous, there were no restrictions placed on where a person could smoke.
Locations such as theatres, restaurants, schools and even hospitals, did not ban the use of cigarettes, and no polite host would ever ask his guests to refrain from using tobacco while at his home.
Sex and the cigarette smoker.
Just as it is today, taking a drag on a cigarette and blowing the smoke up into the air was sexy in 1840. Considering it was a time before Queen Victoria and her prudish rules became the norm, there is little doubt to this writer that a man lighting up in front of woman not only looked sexy – it also sent out an invitation.
In private settings, women could also enjoy the luxury of smoking a rather expensive European cigarette. The sight of seeing a pretty lady press an elegant cigarette to her lips was more than any red-blooded man needed to get excited. Still true today? Of course it is!
Read about how my CounterClockwise Paranormal Romance Series unfolds and how my characters get involved in dangerous situations!