cigarette holder is a fashion accessory, a slender tube in which a cigarette is held for smoking. Most frequently made of silverjade or bakelite (popular in the past but now wholly replaced by modern plastics), cigarette holders were considered an essential part of ladies’ fashion from the early 1910s through early to the mid 1970s.

The holder was a practical accessory and served several purposes:

  • The primary use was to prevent ash falling onto a woman’s clothes, especially since women didn’t wear smoking jackets. This is also why longer holders were for more formal occasions, which usually had more elaborate dress codes.
  • Kept side-stream smoke further from the smoker’s eyes and out from under the lady’s hat, which often had a wider brim than a man’s hat.
  • Helped prevent nicotine staining the fingers[1] and gloves.
  • Reduced staining of the teeth.
  • Kept the thin cigarette paper from sticking to, and tearing on, the smoker’s lips.
  • Cooled and mellowed the smoke inhaled.
  • Holders sometimes encased a filter for taste and, later, health reasons.
  • Before the advent of filtered cigarettes in the 1960s, the holder also kept tobacco flakes out of the smoker’s mouth.


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