Sharon Reid


Are smokers society’s new pariahs? The UK’s first outdoor smoking ban coupled with the argument for plain packaging reinforces the idea of the marginalised smoker

A recent survey conducted on 1000 people aged between 18 -55+ was commissioned by ECigaretteDirect who wanted to gain insight into what drives people to take up this increasingly anti-social habit. The survey revealed some interesting results such as:

Over one third (34%) of 25-34 year olds said that smoking has helped to improve their social life and 42% of them voted that smoking had improved their love life

Clara,33 a budding entrepreneur is a self –confessed ‘social smoker’:

“I started smoking when I was 15, I didn’t particularly like it but all the ‘cool kids’ at school smoked. I’m loathe to admit that I bought my way into the cool set with Silk Cut.

“I only tend to smoke when I’ve had a drink, when I’m out I tend to find the most interesting people huddled outside having a smoke.”

As for the 42% who claim that smoking had improved their love life, I could not find anyone willing to admit to this, and I am struggling to see how smoking can improve this area of your life, unless this is in reference to post –coital smoking!image

31% of people from London have said that smoking has had a negative effect on their career

Who remembers the episode of Friends when Rachel takes up smoking in order to ‘get in’ with her boss and co-workers as a misguided means of progressing her career? Unfortunately for Rylan, 28, a Project Manager for a Digital Agency, there were no cosy bonding sessions with his boss over a Marlboro Light:

“My former boss used to smoke but quit a few years ago and she became one of those evangelical anti-smokers who had zero tolerance for smokers.”

Rylan is convinced that his boss’ intolerance cost him a promotion. “I had an excellent attendance record; I bought in new business and even won ‘employee of the month’ a few times. Despite this, promotion continued to elude me. Of course I couldn’t prove it so I quit my job.”

Stopping smoking was voted the most stressful task, above having children, divorce, losing their jobs and being in debt

It is no wonder that people continue to smoke if giving up has proven to be more stressful, the constant bombardment of anti –smoking messages do little to address nicotine cravings. Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology, suggests that anti-smoking messages have exactly the opposite effect to that intended, due to stimulating the part of the brain that produces nicotine cravings.

With increasing pressure to quit, clearly illustrated by the threat of an outright ban on smoking in public, open spaces the future looks bleak for smokers.

For further information about Martin Lindstrom’s research please visit: