My, How Times Have Changed: When Cigarettes Were Cool
Disclaimer: In no way am I advocating cigarette smoking. In fact I am an ex-smoker and do not approve of cigarettes whatsoever. In this hub I am simply reflecting to a time when our culture was very different.
I'm a fan of classic cinema. In fact my favorite actress of all time is Bette Davis. Bette Davis was known for her unusual yet beautiful big blue eyes. She was also known for something else. Whether on the silver screen, an interview or a TV special, that woman always had a damn cigarette in her hand.
When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, I wouldn't have given that much thought. My dad smoked, most of my uncles smoked, heck even Danny Zucko and the entire cast of Grease smoked. Sure the grown-ups said it was bad for you, as they puffed away and bought us kids candy cigarettes.
There were still smoking sections in hospitals and in airplanes. How dangerous is that?!? I mean looking back, that was pretty messed up. Not to mention in the 80s everyone knew it was bad for you!
Before the 1990s doctors did not warn expecting mothers about smoking. If a woman was concerened the doctor may say something like 'it's not that dangerous.' At one time there were smoking rooms in maternity wards. When the nurses were ready to bring the baby in to see mommy, the nurse would ask that the new moms put their cigarette out first. As if that made much a difference.
Don't even get me started on the kids in movies. Tatum O'Neil chain smoked in the classic '70s film Paper Moon. She was nine. All the pre-teens boys from the '80s coming to age flick, Stand By Me smoked. None of us batted an eyelash. Imagine re-making Paper Moon today. Imagine the outrage.
What about television? Remember I Love Lucy? You can actually make up a drinking game by how many times Lucy and Ricky light up a smoke. Cartoon characters even smoked! Check out this advertisement for Winston!
The Cost of Smoking
Unless you are living under a rock, then you know all of the health hazzards of smoking. Smokers also burn their money away (pun intended). So how much did a pack cost twenty years ago anyway?
In reality, the cost of a pack of smokes haven't gone up much. It's the taxes. Lets take a sobering look at how the price of one pack of cigarettes have risen over the decades.
1950: $ 0.25
1960: $ 0.40
1970: $ 0.60
1980: $ 1.00
1990: $ 2.00 to $ 3.00
2000: $ 3.00 to $ 4.00
2010: Depending where you live, smokes can cost you anywhere from $5.00 to $ 10.00 a pack!!!
Thankfully, smoking is becoming less and less cool and is certainly not in vogue anymore. Less than twenty percent of the United States population smoke. There is no smoking in airplanes, movie theatres, hospitals, restaraunts, bars, offices and many apartments are smoke-free. Here in Illinois, you have to stand fifteen feet away from a public entrance to smoke. The majority of parents 'take it outside' and do not smoke in front of their kids. This all seems like common sense. I don't really know how asthmatics survived 'back in the day'.