Up In Smoke: The Place of the Modern American Cigarette

Hannah B. Grose '13, Gettysburg College


Since its discovery, the use of tobacco products has acted as a form of meditation, social engagement, and reprieve. In the era following the late 1950’s, designated “smoking areas,” whether sequestered informally by social constraints or formally by the law, have led to a culture of very “implaced” cigarette smoking. These have become places of escape, places of exile, and places of compromise. This paper explores what it means to belong, and not to belong, to these places, and the role of designated smoking areas in the formation of our culture.