Cigarette Psychology

Dr. William Neutra claimed that he could know a person's personality simply by observing the way they held a cigarette. At least, a man's personality. Women, he believed, were too "affected and unnatural" as smokers, and so didn't reveal much of their true personality.

The two illustrated articles below were published twenty years apart. Note that some of the interpretations differ, such as the gesture that he believes indicates a "hail fellow."

Life - May 8, 1939

Harrisburg Telegraph - Sep 6, 1939

Caper Magazine - May 1959

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 20, 2023
     Category: Psychology | Smoking and Tobacco

If you hold your cigarette like a joint you´re gay ?
Posted by F.U.D in Stockholm on 10/20/23 at 11:26 AM
Both 1939 articles use the "cigaret" spelling, which was a thing back in the day. By the time I was reading newspapers (a little after the 1959 article), most of them had gone back to the "cigarette" spelling. Here's an article on the movement to simplify spelling (in which you can see "cigaret")
Posted by ges on 10/20/23 at 03:46 PM
@F.U.D. -- If you hold a joint that way, you're gay. (Remember that this was on the cusp: the majority of people still used 'gay' in the sense of mirth; only the in-crowd were using it for today's common definition.)

I'm either "aloof, intellectual, and meticulous" or "pessimistic, excessive." Not sure if I agree with either.

Posted by Phideaux on 10/20/23 at 03:53 PM
I know the history of the term "gay" I was being ironic but I guess you missed that.
Posted by F.U.D in Stockholm on 10/21/23 at 01:13 AM
So... what am I? The way I hold my cigarette is not at all.
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/21/23 at 04:10 AM
I can't believe the amount of crap they give women for habits common among men. Has nobody ever seen the video of René Lévesque when he was a journalist and consistent ash-dropper? Or the vintage ad where a man blows smoke into a woman's face?
Posted by Yudith on 10/23/23 at 06:01 AM
40 years ago, a college classmate and aspiring stand up comedian came up with a routine of how the different types of people held cigarettes. He would show the grip, and go into the character for a few lines before moving on to the next.
Posted by Patrick on 10/23/23 at 09:07 AM
Yudith, the author had a good day, since he was able to reinforce his Neanderthal beliefs with Dr. Whatever. The more of this crap that stayed back in the last century, the better.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 10/23/23 at 03:36 PM
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