The Different Types Of Cigarette Smokers There Are

The Bum. I’m typically not a hater (that’s a total lie) but the one type of person I cannot stand is the cigarette bum. I think I subconsciously quit smoking by thinking, “I’m not going to be a part of this circular moochfest any longer. I wanna be one less!” The Bum never has their own goddamn cigarettes. Just lend them a cig; they’ll hit you back – on the 12th of never.  The bum always has outrageous excuses as to why they don’t have cigarettes – never mind that the rest of the cigarette smoking population is well aware of what the difficulty level of purchasing cigarettes is. SO EASY, A CAVEMAN COULD DO IT. Don’t have cash? There’s this thing called an A-T-M now. You just finished your pack? No, because you’d have to actually buy a pack in order to finish it. Try again. Cigarettes are expensive? Oh, I wasn’t aware. Now I definitely want to give you six of them. GTFO.

The Social Smoker. The Social Smoker somehow manages to only smoke when they’re drinking. You meet them at a bar and go on several cig breaks together. Before you know it, you’ve built a friendship over exhausted smoke and you’re making plans to hang out with them in daylight. They’re not like your judge-y Madonna friends, you know? Until there’s no alcohol in sight and you’ve ripped through a quarter of a pack while they just sit there being well adjusted and smoke-free. Can you sell me a slice of your self-control, please?

The Chainsmoker. The Chainsmoker is equal parts gross and impressive. They’re that person who lights their next cigarette with the cherry of their last one. They’re the person you don’t even bother asking, “Didn’t you just have one?” The answer is always the same. “So?” Don’t bother trying to understand a chainsmoker’s propensity for tobacco. There is no rhyme or reason as to why one might need to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes in three hours other than that they are addicted, they can afford to, or they are on cocaine.

The American Ass Smoker. The American Ass Smoker smokes either Marlboro Reds, American Spirits (obviously), or rolls their own. Their entire ‘personal brand’ is built on smoking cigarettes. If they quit both smoking and country music, they’d become another person entirely.

The Cautionary Tale. The Cautionary Tale is the person who appears in MTA ads or television commercials and tells you not to smoke. They are a limp body attached to a hacking cough, one that lasts longer than what’s comfortable for anyone in earshot; they are a ravaged vessel hooked up to machines designed to do what one hopes their body will do on its own. Stuff like breathing. The only good thing about The Cautionary Tale is that they sometimes motivate people to quit smoking before it’s too late, or to never start at all.

The Average Joe. The Average Joe smokes, on average, 7.5 cigarettes a day, usually Marlboro Lights or any brand with particularly bland packaging, really. They can go extended periods of time without smoking and without complaining about it, much to the dismay of pretty much every other smoker. The Average Joe says, “I can quit at any time.” And means it. Their smoking traditions are so boring that they run the risk of betraying the vaguely attractive, rebellious spirit that cigarette manufacturers have been trying to Make Happen for the past century.

The Rehabilitated. The Rehabilitated have smoked their brains out and lived to tell about it. They no longer smoke, but they are a lifelong Cigaholic. Smoking even one cigarette might cause them to fall off the wagon. They will attempt to never smoke again, but a part of them still feels that cigarettes are pretty rad. The Rehabilitated usually sit around obsessively analyzing other smokers in order to feel ‘a part of things’ in lieu of their beloved habit. TC mark


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  • Tau Zaman

    When I was little, I was always terrified of people who drank and smoked simultaneously. I thought they would spontaneously combust. 

    • habitualtruth

      i saw that happen to a guy at a frat party

    • habitualtruth

      i saw that happen to a guy at a frat party

      • Maa' Hes

        i wish it would happen to every guy at every frat party.

      • Tau Zaman

        Egad! Why not just the douchey ones? =) *is in a fraternity*

    • habitualtruth

      i saw that happen to a guy at a frat party

  • kp

    Interesting. The key to being ‘the social smoker’ (which you so admire) is to be ‘the bum’ (which you loath).


     Be the bum who refuses to pay less than 1 dollar for a cig. 

    Conversation usually goes like this.

    “Can I bum a cig, I’ll throw you a buck.” -Bum

    “I’m not going to let you give me a dollar.” – Smoker


    “Ok.” – Smoker. 

    • Anonymous

      I always offer money when I ask people for a smoke, but I really mean it, I don’t do it only because I know they’ll say “oh, no, here just have one”, or do I?

    • Megan

      I always take the dollar.

  • Egle Makaraite

    I don’t know where I stand among these. I feel like I’ve been all of them.

  • Perfect Circles

    Reminds me of a great quote from the Exorcist:

    Karras: I think it might be helpful if I gave you some background on the different personalities Regan has manifested. So far, I’d say there seem to be three. She’s convinced…
    Merrin: There is only one.

  • Joyce

    I relate. But chainsmokers are a misunderstood bunch. We mostly do that out of the inability to stand for awkward situations or, that we just hate the people around us to not want to actually engage in conversation.

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible to be a mix between a chain smoker and an average joe? Like you chain smoke when you have them, and when you don’t have them you don’t care. Cause I think that’s me.

  • SippyCup

    “Their entire ‘personal brand’ is built on smoking cigarettes.”

    The only people who don’t have a personal brand are the helpless addicts over 35. If you’re younger than that you are choosing a personal brand with ever pack you buy. You can’t even do the price denial like hipsters do with PBR because they all cost same (at least in NY). Maybe you buy Nat Sherman’s but then you’re *really* trying too hard. The only person who gets a pass is the bum smoking your discarded butts.

    • NoSexCity

      Personal brand ≠ preferred brand.

      • SippyCup

        Preferred brand = what people say when they don’t want to admit it’s their personal brand

      • shainanana

        No, personal brand, in this case, has nothing to do with the brand of cigarettes they smoke.  It has to do with the kind of person they try to portray themselves as.  

      • Paladin0037

        You basically repeated what sippy said , just that you’re implying it’s “personal brand” . Personal brand is a brand of cigarettes someone favours and chooses to smoke that either gives them the best of anything ( high , smell , taste ) in his perspective .

  • Guest

    I quit smoking Marlboro Reds, but I will NEVER quit country music.  

    • GUEST

      Oh no!

  • Miss Maryam

    What about the “New Smoker”? A smoker that looks like a smoker but that does not actually smoke. We exist!!!

    • Lala


      • Miss Maryam

        What’s not to get? Every one thinks I’m a smoker and I’m not. Simple as that.

  • NoSexCity

    Caught in an endless cycle from Social Smoker -> Average Joe -> Chainsmoker -> Rehabilitated. At least I’m not The Bum…?

  • Alex Thayer

    drunk smoking is the best

  • Brian McElmurry

    My grandma quit and would only smoke “OP’s.” Other People’s

  • Maeby Funke

    I go between Social Smoker and Average Joe. Currently I’m not smoking, and I haven’t smoked regularly since May — maybe one or two here and there. But I love it still, and I have three unopened packs in my room somewhere. Thank god cigs are so cheap where I live. About a 1-1.50USD a pack.

    • Lala

      where do u live?

      • Maeby Funke

        Manila, Philippines

  • Bethanie Marshall

    Ah yes, being the social smoker I am (meaning I quit paying for my own cigarettes and can swear up and down that I don’t want to smoke anymore when I’m in sober) I find the activity to be a great ice breaker. And I don’t know what it is, but after a few cocktails, or 6, a cigarette seems like the most amazing thing on the planet, after sex and a burrito. Cigarettes are more easily and faster obtained than the aforementioned two.

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  • Miriam Mogilevsky

    You forgot the stupid ones.

  • Becky Lang

    i’ve never heard such a kind definition of social smokers.

  • Ruthy

    I am “The social smoker”.

  • Steve Ives

    Once I found out that every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off your lifespan, I started smoking two at a time. 

  • martin

    thats not a cigarette! its a “cigaweed”

  • DK

    I wonder if the author smokes. And if so, what category does she fall in?

    I am an Average Joe, I haven’t smoked in some two weeks. Not complaining


    I’m the social smoker. I can’t stand the smell and taste of cigarettes unless I’m drunk. So I’ll stumble into the liquor store and buy a pack, but desperately try to give them all away before sunrise. By the morning, I’ll be repulsed by what seems to be the permanent smell of tobacco in my mouth and fingers.

  • Dederz

     I am the poster child for “The Rehabilitated” = /

  • Dederz

     I am the poster child for “The Rehabilitated” = /

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