Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women and cigarettes, the causes for consumption

08.02.2008
A study carried out at the Department of Anthropologyof the University of Granada has examined, both at a quantitative and a qualitative level, the reasons for the increase in the use of cigarettes among women experienced in Spanish society during the last 50 years.

One of the main conclusions of this study is that the use of cigarettes has become very important for women in order to face up to stress and anxiety, control appetite and body weight, and facilitate interaction in social relations.

In that sense, they are used as a tool to get closer to men and to get in touch with them in sexual and amorous interactions. It has also been proved that women use tobacco as a sexual metaphor. Apart from this, the use of cigarettes is symbolic of power and strength when facing unbalanced situations between sexes and male dominance.

This research was conducted by María Luisa Jiménez Rodrigo, who is currently working at the University of Seville, and was led by lecturer Juan Francisco Gamella Mora. A qualitative fieldwork had to be performed in order to carry out this study. This fieldwork was performed by in-depth individual interviews, organization of discussion groups, structured interviews, participant observation, and analysis of the tobacco advertising. This study reveals that the use of cigarettes has attained new and specific meanings in women’s daily life. Therefore, smoking has a series of relative advantages for women, organized into several dimensions: emotional, corporal, social, symbolic and as an expression of power and strength.

A normal act
Both surveys and indicators show how the number of women smokers is increasingly high. However, “a qualitative dimension has been observed in this phenomenon, so that the adoption of the use of cigarettes among women can not be properly understood without it”, according to the author of this research. During the last 50 years the symbolic and cultural elements that shape the social depiction of the practice of smoking and the image of women smokers have changed. Jiménez Rodrigo states that the use of cigarettes is no longer considered to be a privilege enjoyed by men, and condemned by society when a woman did so, but now it is a normal and acceptable act, and fits in well with the common conception of femininity.

Jiménez Rodrigo explains that women started to use tobacco with a specific product - the industrially produced cigarette made from Virginia tobacco. Unlike pipes, cigars and dark tobacco, this product is believed to be compatible with femininity at pharmacological and social levels. Tobacco companies have played a decisive role in this process.

Compatible with the requirements of femininity
“Smoking has become compatible with the social demands imposed upon women. Cigarettes are used by women in order to relax, to avoid gaining weight, and to appear attractive, mature and feminine. It even helps them to pick up men”, emphasizes the author.

In spite of this, stress and anxiety are strongly linked to the use of cigarettes among women. They have to face potentially stressful situations every day as a result of working days with no breaks, family and work role conflicts, unstable and discriminatory situations, or violence and social isolation. Jiménez Rodrigo states that “on a whole, smoking is one of their safety valves to face up to stress. In addition, it is considered to act as a unique relaxant because of its effects, its availability and its accessibility”.

Apart from this, smoking in order to achieve weight control has become increasingly popular among women, particularly among young women. The use of cigarettes to regulate appetite is related to the promotion of thinness as the ideal female form in Western industrialised nations. Jiménez Rodrigo stresses that the use of cigarettes has a great social and collective importance to women since it is present in both their daily lives and other different contexts in which they are participating en masse, particularly education, work and leisure. Moreover, it plays an important social role as it facilitates social relations by increasing their self-confidence and the number of chances to establish social relations and to integrate into a certain group.

Another significant reason has to do with sexual attraction and seduction, although these reasons are more important during adolescence and youth. Smoking is an easy way of coming into contact with men and showing them an attractive “image”. Therefore, cigarettes are used as means of drawing male attention to female sexuality, which fits in with the cultural parameters that emphasize the value of love and sexual achievement as the main elements of female success.

Some of the results of this research were presented at the Ninth Spanish Conference on Sociology and have been published in the Liberaddictus journal.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/verNota/prensa.php?nota=502

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>