The resourcefulness of the tobacco giants in the 1900’s and their alacrity to find new audiences is sometimes astounding. In order to influence women in the pleasures of the tobacco leaf, way back at the turn of the 20th century, the large tobacco companies actually targeted the suffragette movement, encouraging them to smoke in public, a pursuit which was a social taboo at the time.
Soon after that, women were again a main focus and cigarettes were advertised as slimming aids, helping women to stave off those hunger pangs and stay beautiful and slim. In the 1920’s when smoking in public was no longer daring, one tobacco giant moved into the fashion world to promote the pleasures of smoking to women.
A clothes designer was hired to create a smoking suit especially for women to make them feel just as important as their male counterparts. The lengths to which tobacco companies would go increased as the years went on, and saw one company sponsoring a ladies swimming race in 1927, claiming smoking gave you energy and kept you warm.