Vom Luxus zum Risiko

Produktions- und Konsumtionssphären der Zigarette in (West-)Deutschland


  • Gerulf Hirt Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Philosophische Fakultät I, Institut für Geschichte, Lehrstuhl für Geschichte der Neuzeit




cigarettes, consumption, material culture, public health, risk product, smoking


This essay tracks the dynamic and inextricably bound interactions between the cigarette’s changing spheres of production and consumption, the connected distributional practices and socio-political regulations as well as the material or rather immaterial ‘language’ of this tobacco product. The focus is on the ever changing situation in (West) Germany since the launch of cigarettes at the very beginning of the 20th century and up to the major decline in the stimulants’ image today. What kind of ties can be observed between the materiality of the cigarette and the varying practices of everyday culture in its production and consumption? How did these interconnected processes change over time? To what extent and to which degree have consumer habits and predilections and socio-political trends had an effect on the spheres of production or consumption of this product and vice versa? The essay is based on a study of distinct sets of sources and pieces together a coherent description and interpretation of what happened to the cigarette’s spheres of production and consumption in (West) Germany.



Hirt, G. (2019). Vom Luxus zum Risiko: Produktions- und Konsumtionssphären der Zigarette in (West-)Deutschland. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 30(1), 92–123. https://doi.org/10.25365/oezg-2019-30-1-5