We all have that one friend who’s a “social smoker”… hell, I used to be that friend!

Yes. Yes, I used to smoke. For years. When you work in the service industry, it becomes painfully hard not to get in to it (at least in my experience.) When you work double shifts, a smoke break becomes like a little taste of heaven in the midst of being constantly on your feet for 12+ hours, multi-tasking to your very maximum and having to deal with sometimes rude guests. This is when I started “smoking for real”. But both before and after my “real” smoker days, I was a Social Smoker.

I smoked when I was out drinking, always bumming cigs off people (and when you’re a girl, this is effortless), never having to buy my own pack. For some reason, in my head, it made sense that if I only smoked when I was out with people or if I never bought my own pack, or if I only smoked when I was drunk, I wasn’t really smoking. (What the fark, right?)

Anyway, I have been happily smoke-free for almost 3 years (coming up to my anniversary this summer) and I don’t judge people who smoke. I understand it’s their decision and I’ve been in that same position. Most smokers I know can own up to the habit and they know the risk. But there’s something about Social Smoking that bothers me. And here it is… Social Smokers don’t own up to it. (There is nothing I despise more than when people don’t own up to their own actions and decisions, no matter what it is.) A social smoker, first of all, won’t admit that she’s a smoker. It’s excuses after excuses.

I came across this hilarious campaign and it’s been featured on many media outlets so you’ve probably come across it, too. QuittheDenial.ca is a campaign to raise awareness surrounding the issue of social smoking. I think it’s hilarious because it’s relate-able and equated smoking to other habits that are also repulsive.

The Social Farter

The Social Nibbler

I actually was laughing my ass off at the Social Nibbler because I have a good friend who is an actual social nibbler!

Edit: April 24, 2013 12:32 p.m. – New videos have been released for the Nibbler and the Farter! Thought I’d include them here :)

The Social Farter Quits

Has Nibbling Taken Over Your Life?

Anyway, the Quit The Denial Facebook Page is kind of amazing – they have an excellent resource on Tips to Quit. The first one being, Understand Why You Smoke. I’m a big advocate on asking the WHY question so I am in full support of this.

Do you think this campaign is successful in helping spread the awareness on Social Smoking? Do you think these ads are funny? The Youtube comments are a mix of people thinking it’s hilarious and those who think it’s stupid (I guess they are missing the point.) I know I’ll be sending it to my friends who social smoke and I encourage you to do the same! I’d love to hear from someone who’s an actual social smoker.. does this change anything at all?

Short URL for sharing: http://bit.ly/16fjmU7

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  • I love that you love this. I worked on the FB page (surprise!) and am a little obsessed with the ad spots. People are very uncomfortable with the parallels they draw, probably because it’s like looking in a mirror. Suddenly, you realize how stupid you’re being when you say it’s only something you do on weekends/when you drink/when you’re with a friend.

    • Well that is awesome to know! You guys did an awesome job with it!

  • I fail to see what this shame-based advertising is doing to help smokers of any kind. It is shame-mongering, likening cigarette smokers to someone who hasn’t the presence of mind not to pick their own earwax in public doesn’t compel people not to smoke. It’s an insulting and cheap stab at the aspects of smoking that are unimportant to the actual people affected by these issues. Making a social pariah out of someone, doesn’t suggest you want to help them. What’s more ridiculous is that our tax dollars funded this childish effort to stem the effects of an actual problem that affects millions. Must be nice to feel better than all the smokers, because your ad certainly suggests you look down at smokers.

    • Hey Luke,
      Thanks for chiming in! I didn’t work on this campaign, so I’m afraid I can’t defend the reasoning behind it in that capacity. I can, however, tell you that as someone that used to be a social smoker, I didn’t have negative feelings about it as you did. But I definitely get where you’re coming from! I see the shame and condescending tone behind it (and that’s not unusual when ads have this type of humour embedded into them).