Instead, they have become popular emblems of freedom for modern women in the contemporary world.
Women who were once culturally discouraged from smoking are now holding their ‘power props’ in long, slender fingers with perfectly manicured nails.
Peer pressure, popular culture, stress, trauma and low-self esteem have all led to an alarming increase in the number of women who smoke.
Most people continue to frown upon women who smoke voraciously, labeling them as self-centered, egoistic women who expose their unborn babies to life-threatening complications. Moreover they are seen as dissidents, contesting Muslim lifestyle and defying widely accepted social norms.
In their defense most women claim that it is a cheap and effective way for them to unwind and their personal choices should not bother anyone, whether they do it publicly or discretely within the privacy of their homes.
Many argue that nicotine curbs their appetite especially when the irrepressible hunger pangs kick in, so men who criticize them should mind their own business and stop judging them for retaining their figures to look thin and well groomed. “Since they are the ones who gravitate towards thin and well kept women, they should spare us the torture and leave us alone,” said one angry woman, venting her stress while throwing flak at the men folk.
Smoking is now becoming a common lifestyle habit for women, especially for women in the media and in the corporate world. It is openly being equated with women emancipation and empowerment; young professionals are being lured into the habit, especially those who are rebellious and wish o break out of the shackles of conformity to flaunt their new found independence in a patriarchal society and male dominated world.