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  #1  
Old 12-01-2003, 08:46 AM
elmwood elmwood is online now
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1950s smoking culture

harins stories from my parents and others who lived through the 1950s, it seems as if everybody smoked in the 1950s. not just smoked, but smoked; it was a ritual that was just as natural as drinking water and eating.

I've wondered if some stories I've heard about 1950s-era culture and smoking were true, though. For instance:

* Elevators had ashtrays, and it was perfectly acceptable to smoke in one.

* Smoking in all areas of a hospital, including intensive care units and surgery theaters, was allowed.

* High schools had smoking lounges, and proper smoking technique was taught in health classes; i.e. inhalation and blowing techniques, and how to hold a cigarette so nobody would mistake you for being gay or French. In some high schools, particularly then-all-male vocational schools, you could actually smoke in class.

* You could get free cigarettes in Las Vegas casinos, and some had elaborate cigarette buffets; a huge rotating lazy susan containing every brand and variety imaginable.

* Smoking was acceptable on public transit. Seats on buses, subway cars, and commuter trains were equipped with ashtrays.

* You could smoke in movie theaters, and buy cigarettes along with the usual snacks and beverages.

* Smoking was allowed in most stores. Nobody noticed that new clothes brought home from a department store smelled like smoke because ... well, everybody smoked, so nobody noticed it.

* When filtered cigarettes were introduced, they were considered a "queer's cigarette."

True? UL?
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2003, 09:03 AM
Futile Gesture Futile Gesture is offline
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You don't even need to go as far back as the 1950s.

Smoking culture I remember of 70s & 80s:

- Smoking in hospitals.
- Free cigarette promotions in shops.
- Ashtrays in all types of public transport.
- Smoking in the office workplace. The summer job I ever had was sitting beside an office worker who smoked like a chimney throughout the day. The office stank and I went home with smarting eyes. But it was just the way it was.
- Sweetie cigarrettes. So the children could play at smoking!
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Old 12-01-2003, 09:42 AM
SirRay SirRay is online now
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Luckily I entered the workforce in the early 90s, by which time Smoke Free workplaces had become standard - my current workplace had a smoking room (which, unfortunately, was were the vending machine for tasty orange and apple juice was located, so the second hand smoke negated the healthy effect of the juices - it was a perpetual haze in there) - it was gone by the late 1990s, and all smokers banished outside.
I don't remember public transport here (or in next door New York City) ever allowing smoking at all (although this probably didn't stop people) - I think no smoking was definintely in effect in the 1950s (just with printed "No Smoking" signs, since the red circle sign hadn't been designed yet).
Other than places with rather flammable material (both industrial, and theatres/movie houses etc.) I think smoking was allowed everyplace in the 1950s (I remember reading once that well over half the US adult population smoked at that time - why else would soliders be issue cigarrettes in their rations)
Smoking in Surgical theatres? Really? Didn't anyone at the time point out the inherent contradiction between smoking and sterile environments?
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Old 12-01-2003, 09:46 AM
Uvula Donor Uvula Donor is offline
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I can't say how it was in the 1950's, but I can vouch for the 60s and 70s:

Free cigs? You bet, and not just limited to Las Vegas. Most of the time in bars, restaurants, and even convenience stores, the tobacco companies were giving away special little 5-cigarette "mini-packs" so you could sample their brands. That was especially handy for kids on an allowance, I'll have you know.

Smoking in school? That's pretty hard to imagine. My high school had a smoking-allowed policy, in the school courtyard during study halls, lunch periods, and passing time (between classes.) The only indoor smoking lounge was in the Teacher's Lounge, and that was off-limits to students. There was a science teacher I had, though, that used to let me sneak a fast smoke in the prep room off the bio lab.

Smoking was allowed in hospitals and elevators, buses, trains, etc. But in surgeries? I can't imagine how a surgeon would be allowed to smoke in an operating room, so I think that's an urban legend. Ditto with smoking in ICU. They use oxygen there, and I don't think smoking has ever been allowed near oxygen use areas.

By the time I worked in retail, in the 1970's, smoking was starting to be discouraged in stores. In the store I worked at, we would ask customers not to smoke (though they certainly had the right to refuse.) I used to keep an ashtray by my cash register in my department so the customers wouldn't toss their butts on the floor and "step them out."
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Old 12-01-2003, 09:59 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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IIRC

1. No smoking in elevators, though they may have had ashtrays so smokers could put out their butts. It was a fire hazard, not a health hazard.

2. High schools did not allow smoking, if you wanted a smoke, you went into the Boy's Room (see Thin Lizzy ) or outside. (Teachers could smoke in the teacher's lounge.) There certainly weren't any classes on how to smoke. College was different -- there used to be ashtrays in classrooms. They were made out of paper with a layer of aluminum foil to keep them from catching fire. You dropped your ash and stubbed things out on the aluminum side.

3. You could smoke in movie theaters, but only in designated smoking areas -- usually the balcony. Again, this was to reduce fire hazard.

4. Most stores allowed smoking. When I worked in retail in the late 70s, I had to tell people that there was no smoking in our store.

5. Untrue for filtered cigarettes. The first (Viceroy) were introduced in 1936 and had been well accepted in the 50s. They were touted for their health benefits ("Not a cough in a carload"). Indeed, the dominant US cigarette in the 50s was Winston ("Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should"), which was filtered and many national brands had both filtered and nonfiltered versions. Finally, people in the 50s didn't worry about being perceived as being gay the way we do today.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2003, 10:00 AM
Anonymous Coward Anonymous Coward is offline
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Even in the early 80's there were candy cigarettes and cigars. I remember Popeye Candy Cigarettes, complete with red dye at one end. Actually, I saw some the other day, and they're now called Popeye candy sticks... I'm not sure if they still have a "cherry" at one end now.

Black licorice pipes with red sprinkles in the bowl were another favorite.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2003, 10:03 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Worked my second summer job in 1975. It was 3 middle-aged female office clerks who chain smoked and non-smoking me, age 17. All in an office with room for 4 student desks, 4 chairs, 4 people and no wastebasket because it wouldn't fit.

On day 2 on the job I screwed up the courage to ask if they always smoked all the time, with just hint of unhappiness in my vioce. That didn't go over real well.

On day 3 I asked if they'd mind getting in snyc so at least they were all doing it or nobody was doing it, so there'd be at least a few minutes per day when they weren't actively trying to poison me. They were not amused. (In retrospect I can't blame them a bit.)

So on the 4th day I took up smoking the cheapest, vilest stogies I could get at the local discount drugstore. I could only handle about 3 per day, but they sure were effective.

On day 6 I got a new private "office", actually a wide spot in the hall. But I was out of smoke hell and into a more-or-less smoke-free space. And I was able to cut back to 1 stogie a week during lunch break just to keep the lesson reinforced. I stopped smoking the day I left that job when school started up again.

So yes, smoking was 100% normal even if everyone didn't do it and objecting to smoking was considered very weird, sort of like objecting to using the telephone. Only a true crank would object to anyone smoking.
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Old 12-01-2003, 10:05 AM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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I was a kid, but here's what I remember.

You could smoke in a hospital waiting room, the cafeteria and most, but not all, patient rooms, but obviously not in surgery (mixing a lit cigarette and the ether used in anesthetics would make a rather annoying explosion) or any place where oxygen was used.

You could not smoke on public transportation, at least not where I lived. There was a no eating/drinking/smoking sign on every bus. However, you could smoke on airplanes and most trains. In fact, the "stewardess" passed out complimentary mini-packs of gum and cigarettes when the flight took off. It was said to help your ears pop.

Some high schools did have smoking lounges, but they did not teach proper smoking techniques. In fact, going back before my very first health textbook, we were taught that smoking was not good for us. You could not smoke in class (although you could in some college classrooms.)

I don't remember anything about elevators, but movie theaters had built-in ashtrays the same way they now have built-in cupholders. My father would smoke his way through a movie.

You couldn't smoke in department stores, at least not the areas where they sold clothes, but you could most certainly smoke in hardware stores, auto parts stores and some other places. I don't know if it wqas because they were rugged, macho type stores, or because they sold things that cigarettes wouldn't hurt.

Filter cigarettes were for women who didn't want to spit out the loose tobacco that came out of the end of the cigarette. There was some vague claim that the filter made the cigarette "milder."

I think most people had a vague idea that smoking wasn't the best thing for their health -- sort of like most people today have a vague idea that they should get more exercise and eat better -- but they didn't care much.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2003, 12:20 PM
Caricci Caricci is offline
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I certainly remember people smoking in the grocery store in the 60's and 70's. I remember the built in ashtrays in the movies and on coach type buses. I'm gagging just thinking about it.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2003, 12:28 PM
Indygrrl Indygrrl is offline
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That's all very interesting. Slightly unrelated, but why can't companies have a smoking lounge in the building? I've often thought about this. It could be closed off so that it didn't bother the non-smokers. I see no point in smokers having to go outdoors in subzero temperatures to enjoy a smoke.
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2003, 12:35 PM
OldBroad OldBroad is offline
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You have to remember that in the 50's, most tobacco companies had "doctors" in their ads touting the smoothness of their cigarettes.
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:41 PM
DaddyTimesTwo DaddyTimesTwo is offline
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Indygrrl, I think the easy answer here is cost. While it's "just a room", using that square footage for something other than business will cost the company many with no obvious benefit. Just because some of the folks have to ride the elevator or whatever to go have a smoke and having a lounge might show some real time saving benefits doesn't mean the company will do it.

And, besides, smoking is gross and it's funny to see the addicts shivering in the cold.
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:42 PM
plnnr plnnr is offline
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"2. High schools did not allow smoking, if you wanted a smoke, you went into the Boy's Room (see Thin Lizzy )"

You'd actually have to see Brownsville Station, not Thin Lizzy, but I'm sure Thin Lizzy had an opinion on the subject.

You could smoke on airplanes up into the 1980s (I'm a nervous flyer and I went through about a pack of Camels between Richmond and Pensacola the first time I met my ex-father in law in 1986).
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Old 12-01-2003, 02:01 PM
Futile Gesture Futile Gesture is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Indygrrl
Slightly unrelated, but why can't companies have a smoking lounge in the building?
Smoke bothers office smoke detectors. And you can't not have smoke detectors in the room where fires are most likely to start.

Then there's the whole HR thing about treating staff differently with different facilities. It's just hassle all round.
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2003, 02:03 PM
Hyperelastic Hyperelastic is offline
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My high school permitted smoking in the "senior court" (a courtyard in the center of our box-shaped school where seniors were permitted to hang out during study hall). This was in 1987.
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Old 12-01-2003, 03:18 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Now most companies relixed that promoting healthier employees cuts down on medical insurance claims. So eliminating indoor smoking areas is a way they can subtly (or not so sublty) nudge folks to cut down or quit. In my building there's no smoking indorrs and only one designated outdoor smoking area. We have a very well-stocked fitness center, however, with weights and machines and aerobics classes 3 times a day. And a wekkly massage therapist.

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  #17  
Old 12-01-2003, 03:28 PM
John Carter of Mars John Carter of Mars is offline
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Re: 1950s smoking culture

Through the smoky haze of time.....

[QUOTE]Originally posted by elmwood


* Elevators had ashtrays, and it was perfectly acceptable to smoke in one.

Ashtrays, yes, but only for putting the butt out.

* Smoking in all areas of a hospital, including intensive care units and surgery theaters, was allowed.

Not where oxygen was in use.

* High schools had smoking lounges, and proper smoking technique was taught in health classes; i.e. inhalation and blowing techniques, and how to hold a cigarette so nobody would mistake you for being gay or French. In some high schools, particularly then-all-male vocational schools, you could actually smoke in class.

Smoking area, usually outside. Sneaking one in the Boy's or Girl's bathroom for those who liked living dangerously. No classes offered on the art of smoking.

* You could get free cigarettes in Las Vegas casinos, and some had elaborate cigarette buffets; a huge rotating lazy susan containing every brand and variety imaginable.

Don't know.

* Smoking was acceptable on public transit. Seats on buses, subway cars, and commuter trains were equipped with ashtrays.

Yes.

* You could smoke in movie theaters, and buy cigarettes along with the usual snacks and beverages.

Yes.

* Smoking was allowed in most stores. Nobody noticed that new clothes brought home from a department store smelled like smoke because ... well, everybody smoked, so nobody noticed it.

Allowed in most stores. Also Doctor's office waiting rooms, etc.

* When filtered cigarettes were introduced, they were considered a "queer's cigarette."

Called "Sissy Sticks", IIRC. No reference to sexual orientation there though. The inference being that the filtered cigarette smoker was less of a Real Man than he who smoked unfiltered brands.

NOTE: The above comments are from what was then my little corner of the world (Miami, Fl.). Things may have been different in other areas.
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  #18  
Old 12-01-2003, 03:47 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
We have a very well-stocked fitness center, however, with weights and machines and aerobics classes 3 times a day. And a weekly massage therapist.
Where do you work?
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2003, 10:54 PM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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I graduated the final year that there was a designated smoking area for students in our high school. 1988. Not that long ago.

Even more ridiculous, our junior high school also had a smoking area. All you needed was a parental permission slip to nic your 13 year-old brains out.
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Old 12-01-2003, 11:29 PM
CadburyAngel CadburyAngel is offline
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Graduated in 2002. We had (and the school still has) a smoking section out by the teacher's parking lot. The advantage was that the police could just pull up and intimidate the hell out of anybody that wasn't supposed to be there. The disadvantage was that it was probably the most prominent area they could have chosen, so smokers became a very visible minority.
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  #21  
Old 12-01-2003, 11:37 PM
ZebWalton ZebWalton is offline
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Smoking culture long ago? Let's take a shorter trip back in time.

I lived in a not-so-bad suburb of Cleveland for four years and I just left last year. In every convenience store and every city office I visited, the employees smoked at work.

It drove me absolutely insane. I couldn't believe that in this day and age, places like that still existed. Especially the city building. Sometimes you just have to conduct business there.

Northeast Ohio still has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation. Not coincidentally, The Plain Dealer printed what I thought to be an anecdotally high number of obituaries of people who died from cancer in their 40s and 50s.

It was just another reason I was pretty glad to be out of there.
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  #22  
Old 12-02-2003, 01:19 AM
aaslatten aaslatten is offline
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They still have candy cigarettes, by the way. I thought they didn't, but my gf found me a pack.

As late as 1991, they were still smoking in offices ...
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  #23  
Old 12-02-2003, 01:30 AM
Mr. Babbington Mr. Babbington is offline
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I graduated High School in 1994. We had an area behind the school where we could smoke. "The Smoking Doors," we called them.

I remember reading once that on The Hindenburg, for god sake, a big balloon filled with a highly flammable gas, they allowed smoking. You had to go into a special room, closed off from the rest of the cabin. I think it was pressurized to keep out the hydrogen. Lighters were chained to the tables so you couldn't take them out of the room. Apparently, you had to surrender all your own smoking material.
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  #24  
Old 12-02-2003, 10:42 AM
Q.N. Jones Q.N. Jones is online now
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Just the other day, Dad told me a 1970s smoking story: when he was working on Wall Street, one of the guys who worked in the bull pen was a dude who apparently never bathed. He sat right in the middle of the room and annoyed everyone who sat near him.

So all the other guys in the bullpen went out at lunch, bought big cigars, and smoked them at work, blowing the smoke straight at their smelly colleague.

I can't imagine a workplace where everyone is smoking fat cigars at their desks.
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  #25  
Old 12-02-2003, 01:50 PM
TV time TV time is offline
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Re: 1950s smoking culture

From my memory (for whatever that is worth)
Quote:
* Elevators had ashtrays, and it was perfectly acceptable to smoke in one.
True - As a child I remember people smoking and dropping ashes on my head in elevators.

Quote:
* Smoking in all areas of a hospital, including intensive care units and surgery theaters, was allowed.
Not completely true - when I was in the hospital my father had to put his smoke out in the hall of the hospital before coming into my room where oxygen was in use.

Quote:
* High schools had smoking lounges, and proper smoking technique was taught in health classes; i.e. inhalation and blowing techniques, and how to hold a cigarette so nobody would mistake you for being gay or French. In some high schools, particularly then-all-male vocational schools, you could actually smoke in class.
Limited truth - A number of my teachers smoked in class both male and female and the shop teacher would let a few of his buddy-students smoke (and at times drink too from his stash) but it was not officially sanctioned. I should say that while my school did not have an official smoking area I knew of schools that did.

Quote:
* You could get free cigarettes in Las Vegas casinos, and some had elaborate cigarette buffets; a huge rotating lazy susan containing every brand and variety imaginable.
quite true - Cigarette girls used to wander the casinos with their wares displayed (and they used to have cigarettes too). If you were playing, the smokes were free. They used to come in smaller than usual packets though. My mother used to bring me the more unusual ones when she and my father used to return from Vegas.

Quote:
* Smoking was acceptable on public transit. Seats on buses, subway cars, and commuter trains were equipped with ashtrays.
Quite true - I remember it clearly.

Quote:
* You could smoke in movie theaters, and buy cigarettes along with the usual snacks and beverages.
For the most part true - I remember that some movie houses had special places for non-smokers while others did not. I remember sitting in the front row of an especially scary movie and looking back at the audience and seeing all the glowing embers of cigarettes in the darkened theater (it was quite eerie). That being said, however, I also remember in the 50s an usher telling my mother to put her cigarette out while in the theater proper since it was an older theater.

Quote:
* Smoking was allowed in most stores. Nobody noticed that new clothes brought home from a department store smelled like smoke because ... well, everybody smoked, so nobody noticed it.
Quite true.

Quote:
* When filtered cigarettes were introduced, they were considered a "queer's cigarette."
True with an adendum - I don't remember when filters were first introduced but I do remember the general reaction being that they were for women and not "real" men. I remember one friend of mine saying, "Why do you think the English call those things 'fags'?" (referring to filtered cigarettes). I learned later they referred to all cigarettes that way for a completely different reason, but at the time I believed it.

TV
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Old 12-02-2003, 05:56 PM
mouthbreather mouthbreather is offline
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Here's something I've thought about, and it is somewhat related. If I should take it to a new thread, elmwood -- I'll be happy to.

Much like the smoking culture, what about the drinking culture? In old movies and TV shows you would always see men carrying flasks in their overcoats and drinking from them. Nowadays, carry a flask around and it screams "alcoholic!" and is extremely socially unacceptable. Why and when did this change, or was it a slow change? Other than the increased atention on drunk driving, I can't see what's different. Are "open container" laws a new thing?

As long as I'm not driving, my day would be a lot more fun if I could carry my little flask-buddy around with me and not be a social outcast.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:16 PM
bughunter bughunter is offline
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If you're playing table games in Reno and Las Vegas, you can still get comp'ed a pack of smokes, even if your average wager is just $5. I get free cigarettes all the time... just ask the pit boss.

I remember smoking culture from my toddlerhood in the late 60's in the deep south. Everyone smoked. Everyone except those of such ill health that one cigarette would kill 'em.

Ashtrays were the standard coffee table centerpiece, and end table, and bedside table, and just about every damn table. My mom had to open the house up regularly and let it air out, even on cold days.

My mom would send me down to the store with a dollar and it would be enough for her pack of cigarettes, and cokes for both of us. And the clerks had no problems selling a pack of smokes to a 6 year old boy.

(These days, it would be regarded as akin to child abuse to send your 6 year old son to the store alone, much less for a pack of cigarettes.)

I don't remember hearing about any classes for smoking, but I do remember stealing my mom's cigarettes and sneaking out to smoke with my freinds, where we practiced smoke rings, french inhales, holding the smouldering butts, etc.

In junior high school, the "bad kids" would hang out across the street from the school, in the woods next to the 7-eleven, where a pack of smokes cost 75 cents. We smoked many different things there... until some idiot burned the place up.

I went to schools all up and down the east coast. In some, smoking was strictly prohibited, but in others, especially in North Carolina, students had a designated smoking area. In Denver, the high school I attended was an open campus on one of the seediest streets in town (E. Colfax - just down the street was Miss Kitty's strip joint). Students could come and go as they pleased.

But in Seminole, FL, smoking was strictly verboten and punishable by detention or even suspension. I got busted several times, and it was especially galling after coming from a school where it was allowed. Florida sucked all around, so this was no suprise.

I recall vowing never to fly again after they banned smoking on domestic flights. I also recall smoking things other than tobacco on domestic flights...
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:15 PM
TV time TV time is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bughunter
In Denver, the high school I attended was an open campus on one of the seediest streets in town (E. Colfax - just down the street was Miss Kitty's strip joint). Students could come and go as they pleased.
I don't want people to get the wrong idea of Denver. Kitty's (no "Miss") never was a strip club. It was a porn store and dirty movie arcade. The strip club was next door and it was the Climax (I always thought that was the perfect name for a strip club) Bar.

And to be completely honest East High School was eight blocks away. Granted that was just a couple of minutes on the #15 bus, but it was eight blocks.

It was much easier to go across the street from the school in City Park and smoke dope.

(a little side note here - They closed down East as a school and it later made a number of appearances in television shows as a school, hospital, police station and an apartment building in such television shows as the Father Dowling Mysteries, and the Raymond Burr rehab of Perry Mason.)

TV
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Old 12-03-2003, 12:30 AM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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I graduated HS in '77. We had an official smoking area, and if student's smoked, they were allowed to do so there. I don't remember smoking in hospitals, but it was allowed on airplanes. What's funny is that they had smoking and non-smoking sections (oh bRUther).

Smoking wasn't allowed in stores, but was in theatres, and most other public places.
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Old 12-03-2003, 05:18 PM
elmwood elmwood is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by mouthbreather
Here's something I've thought about, and it is somewhat related. If I should take it to a new thread, elmwood -- I'll be happy to.

Much like the smoking culture, what about the drinking culture? In old movies and TV shows you would always see men carrying flasks in their overcoats and drinking from them.
I think it's perfectly acceptable in this thread ... if you can get a mod to change the subject: linhe.
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:11 PM
JohnBckWLD JohnBckWLD is offline
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I get a kick outta seeing those circa 1950s black and white game shows on GSN. The sponsor always seems to be a tobacco company and everyone on the show smoked their brains out.

A friend of mine recently told my loosies are making a comeback in bodegas throughout the area...the only difference is the price: 40 cents today vs the penny my Gradfather used to pay
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:22 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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What are 'loosies'? A 'bodega'?
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:48 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by kunilou
I think most people had a vague idea that smoking wasn't the best thing for their health -- sort of like most people today have a vague idea that they should get more exercise and eat better -- but they didn't care much.
I think it was more that a vague notion. As a kid in the 1950's, long before the surgeon general's report, I can recall my father and the other guys on the job hanging out and asking for a coffin nail, or when someone would bum a cig being told "Sure pound another nail in your coffin"
People knew that smoking wasn't healthy, but I don't think they knew just how unhealthy it really is.
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:35 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is online now
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I remember people smoking just about everywhere, except department stores. I remember when receptionists, bank tellers, heck, everyone smoked at their desks. Except department stores. It probably happened, but I don't remember it. I do remember my thoughts, though, when I first saw the classic "Glen or Glenda" for the first time, probably in 1982. There is a scene where Ed Wood (credited as Daniel Davis) is smoking a cigarette in a department store, and I remember thinking that odd even back then. Again, it probably happened, but I don't remember. Grocery stores, though, yes.
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:51 PM
Gary T Gary T is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sunspace
What are 'loosies'? A 'bodega'?
Single cigarettes. Small grocery, probably convenience store.
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  #36  
Old 12-04-2003, 07:12 AM
quiltguy154 quiltguy154 is offline
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Loosies a penny? What a deal! I remember getting 2 for a nickel, which included 2 wooden strike-anywhere matches. So old, so very old.
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  #37  
Old 12-04-2003, 10:27 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CanvasShoes
I graduated HS in '77. We had an official smoking area, and if student's smoked, they were allowed to do so there. I don't remember smoking in hospitals, but it was allowed on airplanes. What's funny is that they had smoking and non-smoking sections (oh bRUther).

Smoking wasn't allowed in stores, but was in theatres, and most other public places.
I graduated HS in '75. I think it was in my senior year that a smoking area for students over 18 was established. When I got to college that fall, they had just taken the ashtrays out of the lecture halls. This was in California, where drive to eliminate public smoking no doubt started sooner than in most other places. I remember a professor in the psychology building had a poster on his door demanding the banning of public smoking. Which has just about come to pass.
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  #38  
Old 12-04-2003, 11:21 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mouthbreather
Here's something I've thought about, and it is somewhat related. If I should take it to a new thread, elmwood -- I'll be happy to.

Much like the smoking culture, what about the drinking culture? In old movies and TV shows you would always see men carrying flasks in their overcoats and drinking from them. Nowadays, carry a flask around and it screams "alcoholic!" and is extremely socially unacceptable.
The use of liquor flasks arose mainly out of restrictive liquor laws. During Prohibition, obviously, when you were uncertain of the liquor supply while out for the evening, you took a flask with you. Apart from the era of national prohibition, there were other, not quite so restrictive models of liquor legislation; sometimes it might be legal to sell liquor by the bottle, but not in a tavern for onsite consumption. In those cases it was customary to carry your own booze in a flask and ask the waiter or bartender to give you a "set up", which was the ice and mixer. I imagine there are still places like this, and it's probably perfectly acceptable to carry a flask, at least among your circle of friends.
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Old 12-04-2003, 11:31 AM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mouthbreather


Much like the smoking culture, what about the drinking culture? In old movies and TV shows you would always see men carrying flasks in their overcoats and drinking from them. Nowadays, carry a flask around and it screams "alcoholic!" and is extremely socially unacceptable. Why and when did this change, or was it a slow change? Other than the increased atention on drunk driving, I can't see what's different. Are "open container" laws a new thing?

As long as I'm not driving, my day would be a lot more fun if I could carry my little flask-buddy around with me and not be a social outcast.
You might find some kindred spirits (heh) at Modern Drunkard Magazine. Here's an interesting article about the demise of the "Liquor Cabinet."

http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.co...iq-cabinet.htm
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  #40  
Old 12-04-2003, 12:54 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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I just thought of another thing that seems very odd now. My father practiced medicine for about 45 years, ending around 1993, and throughout that time he kept ashtrays in the waiting room.
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Old 12-05-2003, 11:54 AM
aaslatten aaslatten is offline
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Originally posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I just thought of another thing that seems very odd now. My father practiced medicine for about 45 years, ending around 1993, and throughout that time he kept ashtrays in the waiting room.
When the Exorcist was rereleased on the big screen a couple of years ago, audiences actually laughed out loud at the scene where the doctor is smoking while talking to the mother in his office.
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  #42  
Old 12-05-2003, 12:03 PM
mouthbreather mouthbreather is offline
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Originally posted by voguevixen
You might find some kindred spirits (heh) at Modern Drunkard Magazine.

Great site....Thanks!
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  #43  
Old 12-05-2003, 12:17 PM
nineiron nineiron is offline
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I graduated HS in 1989, and there was still a student smoking area outside. It was no longer there when I returned to teach at the school in 1993. (This is a Catholic high school.)

As for the movies: once or twice a year, we go to see a drive-in movie, and one of the cool, retro things about this particular drive-in is that they show all of the really old promo-type stuff, with the dancing candy-bars and such. One such promo urges the viewers to go to the snack bar and get a delicious soda, candy, and a pack of cigarettes. I know it's outdoors (or in your own car), so the smoke wouldn't bother anyone anyway, but it's funny to see. It's also strange to see how different the cigarette packaging looked 30-40 years ago.


I worked in a grocery store in the early 90's, and customers as well as workers were permitted to smoke. I also remember men smoking in the back lobby of the church I attended. Now they have to go out to the front steps.

I'm not sure, but I think the casinos around here (Foxwoods, etc.) will give you cigs if you ask one of the cocktail girls for them. Loosies were outlawed around here about 8-10 years ago, though. I don't know why. Supposedly it's for underage considerations, but now I guess the underage kids will have to buy a whole pack.

Ooh, I just remembered another one. My grandfather's funeral was in the 80's, and the funeral home had a fancy silver cigarette box loaded with cigs in one of the rooms where the mourning families would sit. I thought that one was pretty strange too.
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  #44  
Old 12-05-2003, 01:32 PM
Mehitabel Mehitabel is offline
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Funeral home basements had ashtrays; it was tacky to smoke upstairs in front of the Body of Honor, though.

Remember smokers on my only childhood flight in 1974, although they did have to snuff them during landing. I remember suffering on Amtrak trains until the end of the 80's, when they had A NO-SMOKING CAR!! Then they had each car with a SMOKING or NON-SMOKING sign in front, which they would switch on or off depending on demand; of course, all the cars reeked of smoke anyway. Now it's all no smoking except for the platform at New Haven

Didn't go to enough hospitals, thank God, to remember them, but I do remember people smoking on subway platforms while not being allowed on the cars. I remember smoky teacher's lounges, and cafeteria workers smoking in the back of the kitchens, and smoking student lounges in the HS my Dad taught at. Born 1964.
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