Jarred by Babe’s Smoking, Though WWII Enabled So Much of It

My mother smoked for at least 55 of her 71 years, as far as I can tell. I know she must have started in her teens. And while smoking isn’t what killed her, it certainly didn’t make her final months any easier.

Babe’s letters give a glimpse at what a different time it was where attitudes about smoking are concerned. Again, remember, Babe was 18 when he went into the service. And in one letter, he writes to thank his parents for the good timing  of a package that arrived — complete with the cigarettes they included, saving him a trip to the PX.

In the next, he notes that cigarettes were offered as rewards for better performance on the rifle range. I can imagine that these were the same attitudes that allowed my mother to start smoking at such a young age, without raising an eyebrow by her parents. Read more of this post