Smoking fetishism (also known as capnolagnia)
is a sexual fetish based on the sight or image of a person smoking.
For many, the fetish appears to have had its roots in early childhood. It is classically conditioned and shaped by many variables. These could include seeing the smoker as a stereotypically sweet, innocent individual behaving in ways
that are considered taboo.
Most of the fetishists are strongly attracted to the glamorous aspect of smoking by women, which has been historically considered a masculine habit. Smoking has been feminized especially with the advent of fashion brands specifically marketed towards women has drawn the attention of fetishists who see the use of these brands as a way for women to increase or enhance their sexual appeal.
The increasing intensity of anti-smoking campaigns, moreover, turns smoking into a transgressive and taboo act; eroticized images of women smoking may take some of their power from depicting a taboo being broken. Another cultural source for the fetish may be eroticized depictions of women who smoke that come from older motion pictures, especially from the film noir era.
Men also enjoy seeing the smoke pouring from the woman's mouth or nostrils, though the reason behind this is still being researched. On the other hand, it has also been speculated that men who have smoking fetishes are more likely to have mothers who smoked, going back to the old belief that all men are secretly attracted to women who are just like their mothers.