PDA

View Full Version : Would it be taboo for an adult to give a 12 year old a cigarette in the 1920s?



Ed Panther
11-06-2012, 01:59 AM
Thank you for any insight!

Mr Flibble
11-06-2012, 02:11 AM
Where are we talking? What social class? You might get better answers if you can be more specific.

One of my grandmothers started smoking at 11, and my husband's gran started at 8 (!), both would have been in that decade. So, yeah, prolly not all that taboo for the adults around them. (I think ciggies were still touted as a healthy then weren't they?)

King Neptune
11-06-2012, 02:29 AM
I agree with Flibble; it would depend on the attitude of the giver. Smoking was regarded as sinful by some and as good and healthful by others.

veinglory
11-06-2012, 02:31 AM
It is my impression it would be more accrptable for a male child in the lower classes. Smoking was still considered unladylike and started later in higher social echelons.

Mr Flibble
11-06-2012, 02:36 AM
It is my impression it would be more accrptable for a male child in the lower classes. Smoking was still considered unladylike and started later in higher social echelons.


I think that too may depend on area/location - there's quite a few ads from that time (and a lot earlier even) that specifically target women (the glamour dontcha know? ;)).

blacbird
11-06-2012, 02:47 AM
Bear in mind also that back in the 1920s, especially for poorer people, it was common practice to roll your own cigarettes with paper and loose tobacco. My father did this his entire life (he died in 1975).

caw

Mr Flibble
11-06-2012, 02:51 AM
Also no age restrictions on buying the ciggies (here anyway) I think. My gran's mum used to get her to run to the shop to buy some - you could even buy them individually. Apparently my great gran used to lower the money down from a top window to my gran as she played in the street...

Ken
11-06-2012, 03:00 AM
... kids definitely smoked back then, many younger than 12. Whether adults gave them to them, I couldn't say. Probably. Not responsible ones, but local hooligans most likes. Times were tough back then and a lot of young kids worked jobs. And with the jobs came views of entitlement, like having the right to smoke.

blacbird
11-06-2012, 03:35 AM
I think that too may depend on area/location - there's quite a few ads from that time (and a lot earlier even) that specifically target women (the glamour dontcha know? ;)).

Yup. The 1920s, the Roaring '20s, were a time when a lot of social inhibitions began to crumble, and among the flapper generation it was fashionably rebellious for young women to smoke, ostentatiously, using long cigarette holders.

caw

veinglory
11-06-2012, 03:43 AM
Yes, the flappers etc. but not, I suspect, at age 12. It was still transgressive

Ed Panther
11-06-2012, 03:54 AM
“Oh, what terrible a man I am. Giving kids stuff to smoke.” Robert smiled.

This is the line in question. Robert does "dabble" in Christianity. He is a war veteran. For the line to be realistic it doesn't mean all of society has to find smoking taboo. It just means that some people(ideally a vocal minority) would frown upon it, in order for it to make sense. Also, he kidnapped three boys, murdered one, and is saying this to the two still alive as a sarcastic joke, acknowledging how nonsensical his statement was.

Pretty much even if only devoutly religious people would frown upon an adult giving a 12 year old a cigar, I still think it makes sense for him to say such a thing given the circumstances. Based on the answers I've gotten I'm going to include the line, unless if someone has more dispute for it. Thank you.

I'm sorry for not having more details in the OP. New to this.