1960s advertisements tried to convince us that smoking is sophisticated – and in some cases seriously macho.
The myths surrounding this habit included that it was good for you and socially acceptable anywhere, even around young children. There were even ads specifically aimed at teenagers!
How times have changed.
And not just because medical science has uncovered the serious and even fatal health repercussions of smoking. Many now view smoking as socially unacceptable or at best irritating.
How People React to Smokers
These days, people are very quick to speak up if they feel that someone is “invading” their personal space, exposing them to secondary smoking or making them feel uncomfortable.
When you’re smoking in public places or people’s homes, you will usually find that icy stares are the least of your problems.
Non-smoking friends will introduce rules for when you visit their home, go on journeys in their car or take joint excursions. This could include sending you outside to smoke. Some may even feel embarrassed to request this, and simply not invite you anymore!
When you quit smoking, you could well find a surge in your social engagements, receiving invitations that you hadn’t realised you were missing out on.
Improved Appearance and Odour
Even if you automatically gravitate to smoking areas to light up, the social indignities don’t end there.
This is an era when society places a high value on how you look and smell. Having yellow fingers is bad enough, but yellow teeth are an absolute no-go. The cosmetics and oral hygiene industry make billions each year from people seeking a brighter, whiter smile. Smoking is undoubtedly the thing least likely to give your teeth that pearly glow.
Then of course, there’s that lingering scent that’s a telltale sign of a smoker – no matter how many mints you crunch or perfumes you apply.
Possibly worse still, doubling over with a hacking smoker’s cough or spitting up phlegm is certainly not a good look!
More Social Benefits of Quitting Smoking
There’s an expression that “no one likes a quitter”. That’s actually not true when it comes to people who quit smoking.
Even friends who smoke themselves could well have a grudging or spoken admiration for your show of willpower. Close friends might be delighted that you’re taking steps to improve your health (and their environment).