Cigarette holders

Cigarette holder

A cigarette holder is a slender tube, a fashion accessory in which a cigarette is held for smoking. Most frequently made of silver, jade 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 mid-1910s through the mid-1960s, and are still widely popular accessories in many aspects of Japanese fashion.

Cigarette holders range from the simplest single material constructs to incredibly ornate styles with complex inlays of metal and gemstones. Rarer examples of these can be found in enamel, horn, tortoise shell, or more precious materials like amber and ivory. Similar to evening gloves, cigarette holders are measured by four traditional formal standard lengths-opera length, usually 16 to 20 inches; theatre length, 10 to 14 inches; dinner length, 4 to 6 inches; and cocktail length, which includes shorter holders.

The holder was also used as a practical accessory, as before the advent of filtered cigarettes, the holder would encase a filter. Though modern cigarettes are generally manufactured with an existing filter, filtered cigarette holders are still used as a secondary filtration system, and to prevent nicotine staining of the fingers.

Holders can be seen in period films like Titanic and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Lucille Ball can be seen using one in certain episodes of I Love Lucy. Cruella de Vil is seen using one repeatedly in the 1961 animated Disney film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Men also used holders widely, the best known probably being Franklin D. Roosevelt, Tennessee Williams and Hunter S. Thompson. Fictional 'Peter Pan' character Captain Hook possessed a unique double-holder, which allowed him to smoke two cigars (not cigarettes) at once. Batman's nemesis The Penguin also commonly used a cigarette holder in the comics and the 1960s television series, and so did his father in the live-action film Batman Returns. Johnny Depp uses a cigarette holder in his role as Raoul Duke (alter ego of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson) in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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