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Balkan SmokeTobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria$
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Mary C. Neuburger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450846

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450846.001.0001

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Smoke-Filled Rooms

Smoke-Filled Rooms

Places to Light Up in Communist Bulgaria

(p.167) Chapter 6 Smoke-Filled Rooms
Balkan Smoke

Mary C. Neuburger

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the contradictory approaches of Bulgaria's communist leaders in relation to tobacco in general and smoking in particular. It was in the interest of Bulgaria's communist regime to promote tourism as something that was healthy and refreshing, complementary to worker productivity. Increased tourism and other leisure consumption opportunities were couched in party theory as signs of “advanced socialism” and the approach of “ripe” communism. Yet official attitudes toward smoking in particular were rife with contradiction, revealing the deep inconsistencies and problems of socialist leisure theory and practice. This chapter first provides an overview of smoking under Stalinism and goes on to discuss the divisions within the Bulgarian Communist Party on the questions of abstinence in relation to smoking and drinking. It also considers how smoking increasingly became a central part of life under Bulgarian socialism and concludes by analyzing the state-sponsored abstinence movement that reemerged in the 1960s and 1970s.

Keywords:   communism, tobacco, smoking, Bulgaria, tourism, leisure, Bulgarian socialism, Stalinism, Bulgarian Communist Party, abstinence movement

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