There’s this goth stereotype which I encounter every now and then on the ætherweb which states that all goths, or a sizable portion anyway, smoke clove cigarettes. I wonder if this is an American thing because I do not know a single Goth who actually smokes cloves, but anyway…
Today’sentry concerns smoking as a trait within the Steampunk subculture and its subsection Dieselpunk. Let’s face it: Historically the Victorian Age and the Edwardian Aera that followed were probably the Golden Age of Tobacco. It was not only socially acceptable but almost mandatory to smoke, at least for males. Cigars in particular also became some sort of status symbol. Clubs and houses had special smoking rooms or smoking lounges for the gentlemen to enjoy a good smoke. The smoking (nomen est omen) was developed as a stylish means to keep the smell of smoke and ash stains from the shirt and waistcoat underneath. There was a whole culture surrounding tobacco.
Of course, since around the 1970’s (yes, I know that’s way after King Edward) the situation has changed. Tobacco and smoking are seen as a major health hazard, which they are.
What I ask myself: Given that smoking was a very gentlemanly habit in the times from which Steampunk and Dieselpunk draw their inspiration and aesthetics and the fact that certain heros/staple characters of the time can hardly be imagined without a smoke:
and of course:
How many Dieselpunks and Steampunks have taken up smoking just because it looks quite the part and fits the time?