Follow TV Tropes


Smoking Is Glamorous

Go To
Sexy on the outside – though certainly not
on the (literal) inside.

When Smoking Is Glamorous, it is portrayed as something stylish, or even sexy. It's something The Beautiful Elite do.

Of course, this was prevalent in old Hollywood when everybody smoked, and since the actors were glamorous to begin with, it made their smoking look so. Onscreen, a classic example was The Vamp in a Film Noir movie, who was invariably shown smoking in a seductive manner. Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, and Audrey Hepburn were among the most iconic glamorous smokers of The Golden Age of Hollywood, and whenever a Shout-Out to glamorous smoking in old movies is given, it's bound to be to one of them.

Nowadays this is largely a Discredited Trope, with some exceptions. Also subject to some Values Dissonance, in that smoking tobacco falls into this trope whereas smoking other substances (particularly marijuana) typically averts it, although some reversal has happened in recent years as pot is treated as the more glamorous and "cool" option.

This trope is often the basis of temptation for Sitcom teenagers to try/think about/start smoking. Peer pressure wouldn't work if the kids doing the pressuring didn't look cool or "glamorous", right? Usually, a Very Special Episode coupled with an Anvilicious lesson about the dangers of the tobacco habit.

Compare Smoking Is Cool (smoking as an indicator of a badass), Smoking Hot Sex, Wine Is Classy, Drugs Are Good.


    open/close all folders 


    Anime & Manga 
  • ×××HOLiC: Yuko is known for smoking with her kiseru pipe while wearing various sexy outfits.
  • One Piece:
    • In the manga, this was the main reason Sanji took up smoking at the age of nine. To be more cool and adult-like. Hilariously enough, his mentor Zeff warned him it would kill his tastebuds.
    • Smoker smokes three cigarettes at once. Not that he needs to, because apparently, he breathes smoke regardless, making it a rather pointless endeavor.
  • Used in Tokyo Ghoul:Re several times. The first time is when Nutcracker is waiting for her victims and is shown lounging against an expensive car while smoking. Later on, we see wealthy Bishōnen Koori Ui smoking after a meeting. Several pieces of artwork feature him looking elegant while puffing away.
  • Godannar: Dr. Kiriko Aoi frequently smokes cigarettes to fit her image as one of the Dannar Base's top scientists.

    Comic Books 
  • In her first appearance in the Dazzler comic, The Mighty Thor's villainess Amora makes a grand entrance in a toned-down version of her classic costume, high-heel boots, and smoking a cigarette in a medium-length holder. The glamor aspect is played up as she poses and preens and exhales a deliberate stream of smoke, all while a nightclub owner practically drools over her while exclaiming that she is the most gorgeous woman he's ever seen.
  • Millie the Model had a cover of Millie getting ready to do a huge marketing campaign for a cigarette company, and she then remembered she didn't smoke.
  • During Knightfall, Catwoman was partnered up with a man named Leopold, who would think of this trope, while Selena would get on his case for smoking, telling him it would kill him. After a romp in Santa Prisca, the two confront Bane, who was put away by Azrael, and when Leopold starts to smoke again, Bane grabs him and breaks his neck.
  • Buck Danny: The suave villainess Lady X smokes through a classy cigarette holder.
  • Superman:
    • Starfire's Revenge: In one scene, Supergirl villain Starfire is seen lounging in her Parisian villa, wearing expensive designer garments and jewelry and smoking a cigarette in a long holder.
    • Supergirl (1984): Nigel is shown smoking expensive cigarettes to accentuate his classy, wealthy looks.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Fortunes of Flossie: The very first comic in the series (published in 1926) depicts Flossie, decked out in a glamorous gown and piles of pearls, smoking a cigarette in a long holder as she reclines on a lounge. The narration flat-out introduces her as a stylist modern woman, and the casual cigarette is part of that image.
  • Terry and the Pirates: The Dragon Lady smokes through a cigarette holder, making her appear classy.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Buffy/Stargate crossover fic All Your Base are Belong to Her, Dawn smokes occasionally, and invokes this trope as justification for it. She goes so far as to blame sexy badgirl Faith as the one who acted as a bad role model to an impressionable young Dawn, by looking entirely too hot while smoking cigarettes.

  • Both the titular character of Angel With The Iron Fists and the main villainess, the Dark Angel, smokes during their intro while wearing classy low-cut glamourous dresses. For the Dark Angel, she's also seen in several scenes holding a high-class cigar holder.
  • The celebrity and celebrity-adjacent characters in Babylon (2022) all frequently light cigarettes in accordance with the film's old Hollywood glamour.
  • Nicole Eggert in Blown Away is perhaps too young to carry off a convincing Femme Fatale role (though she tries), but her beauty is undeniable, and she easily fulfills this trope in her several smoking scenes.
  • In tragic romance One Way Passage, Joan asks Dan for a cigarette. He lights one, gives it to her, pulls out another, and lights it by touching it to the one between her lips. Kissing ensues.
  • The gorgeous Severine, from the James Bond film Skyfall, smokes throughout her first scene, where she meets Bond in her club/casino in Macau. This is both a callback to the smoky Bond films of old, and also serves to highlight Severine's exotic and dangerous nature.
  • In The Specialist, Sharon Stone smokes constantly, and though it is often used to show the character's vulnerability, in several other scenes it is portrayed as being elegant, sophisticated, and intensely sensual/sexual.
  • Holly's cigarette stick in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Ironically, this was supposed to be an affectation that Holly assumes to cover her insecurity. It backfired. Audiences didn't get it, probably at least in part because of the choice of Audrey Hepburn for the role.
  • In Thoroughly Modern Millie our heroine sees some Chinese prostitutes doing this, and attempts to mimic in an effort to blend in. Too bad she stinks at it.
  • Sadie Thompson includes a scene where Sgt. O'Hara gives Sadie a cigarette and, after she puts it in her mouth, lights it with the one he's smoking. It plays much like a kiss.
  • At the beginning of The Scribbler, police psychiatrist Silk (Eliza Dushku) arrives at a crime scene and promptly lights up while surveying the damage. The cigarette - along with her stylish clothes, perfect coif, and red lipstick - makes her look more like a Film Noir Femme Fatale than a police officer OR a shrink.
  • Lampshaded in Manhattan, when Woody Allen's character lights up a cigarette on a date and his girlfriend points out that he doesn't smoke. He acknowledges this: "I don't inhale, because it gives you cancer. But I look so incredibly handsome with a cigarette that I can't not hold one."
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, Danique's Femme Fatale personality and appearance are completed by her smoking, first a cigarillo, then from a shisha.
  • One of Marlene Dietrich's most famous photographs has her in a tuxedo, smoking a cigarette, from the 1930 film Morocco.
  • The most memorable scene of Now, Voyager has Bette Davis and Paul Henreid providing this trope, where Henreid's cigarette sharing serves as sexual subtext.
  • A significant subplot of Thank You for Smoking has to do with tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor pushing a Hollywood megaproducer for Hollywood to bring this trope and Smoking Is Cool back. As the producer says, "Mr. Naylor's here to see if we can't get cigarettes into the hands of someone other than the usual RAVS (Russians, Arabs, and Villains)." They paint the image of Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones having sex in zero gravity in the far future with Brad blowing smoke rings over Catherine's naked body as the cosmos flies by.
  • The House That Dripped Blood: Most of the smoking in the film is very mundane, but Carla, the exotic foreign movie star in "The Cloak", smokes cigarettes in a long holder and looks very sexy while doing so.

  • Adora Belle Dearhart from the Discworld series. Moist finds himself quite attracted to what she does with a cigarette. (Others smoke, of course. But the smoking isn't seen the same way.)
  • The Princess Lylia smuggles fine cigars, wine, and pornography to her favorite cousin Cullen in A Brother's Price. He happily decides to share all of the above with Jerin, who's a bit stunned by all the luxuries of palace living.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackadder: In General Hospital in Blackadder Goes Forth, Nurse Mary says:
    A man should smoke. It acts as an expectorant, and gives his voice a deep, gravelly, masculine tone.
  • Full House Stephanie was in the bathroom with some other girls who were smoking and she thought it looked cool. She ultimately resisted though.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): Antoinette Brown is The Chanteuse in the early 20th century, so smoking is part of her glitzy image.
  • Rutland Weekend Television did it with the visuals that went along with Neil Innes' song "Slaves of Freedom," with a bunch of people revelling in decadence, complete with David Battley getting a drag of a cigarette from a lightly-clad (read: Stripperific) woman.
  • In The Thick of It, Terri tries to invoke this when flirting with Peter Mannion, even though it's a Discredited Trope. Unfortunately for her, she's so inept, he doesn't notice. This is not surprising as Terri is inept at everything.
  • Transatlantic (2023) is set in 1940 Europe so everyone smokes, but the British spy Margaux does it while wearing glamorous dresses and using fine cigarette holders, fitting her characterization as a sophisticated spy.
  • Subverted on Will & Grace when Grace tries to invoke the trope to seduce one of her boyfriends. She takes a puff, says "Wanna F--" and breaks up into a severe hacking fit. The third time she does this, he asks why she's smoking and she says "Because it's sexy."

  • Of the many things Arctic Monkeys glorify (drinking, partying, one-night stands), smoking is not one of them. They deconstruct this, however, by portraying girls as appearing to look glamorous while smoking when in reality, they can't hide their true feelings. Examples include "Cigarette Smoker Fiona" (a B-Side from Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not), and "Arabella" (from AM).

  • Parodied on The Now Show, in Olga Koch's "Guide to Dating a Crypto Bro". Having been told she's not allowed to smoke indoors, she attempts to portray eating cigarettes as cool and sexy.
    Suddenly, another woman sits down on his opposite side. She's eating a cigar. You've got competition, and she's hardcore.


    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Zig Zagged by South Park. The boys took up smoking not because it was cool, but because a school assembly did an excellent job of making not smoking look extremely uncool.
    • The end more or less has An Aesop that, while smoking may or may not be cool, you shouldn't judge people for smoking, nor should you ban it, but simply leave them alone.
  • The Simpsons where Lisa joins a ballet class and they all smoke.
  • The Pink Panther was known to smoke with a classy cigarette holder in his earlier shorts, though this trait was understandably dropped as the character was retooled over the decades to be more popular with children.