Historically considered a masculine habit, the feminization of smoking occurred in tandem with the advent of fashion brands or premium brands of cigarettes specifically marketed toward women. Most often this is focused on young fashion-conscious professional ladies who are the target demographic for these brands, which are differentiated by slimness and added length over traditional brands of cigarettes.
These brands include decorative ones like Eve, marketed strictly toward women like Virginia Slims, or as evening-out styles like Sobranie Cocktail or Sobranie Black Russian. Many fashion houses have lent their name (through a licensing agreement) to cigarettes; Yves Saint Laurent is probably the most successful of these (even though he admitted in a 1968 interview he smokes, but not his namesake brand, as he does “not like the flavour”), though many other brands have been marketed, from time to time, in select international markets: Givenchy, Versace, Pierre Cardin, Christian Lacroix and Cartier (a jewelry house).
In the 1980s and early 1990s, manufacturers created longer, 164 millimeter versions of several ladies’ cigarettes. However, finding only a small niche market, the machines that produced them have since been dismantled.
With the anti-smoking movement in the United States, cigarette manufacturers have turned to Asia, where there is a distinct market for female oriented brands, and to the nouveau riche in Russia.
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