AEE 409: What Do Americans Think About Smoking?

American attitudes toward smoking

What do Americans think about smoking?

What does it mean for you if you are visiting the US or moving here on a work assignment?

The way we view smoking in the US has changed a ton in the last thirty years.

Find out more today!


Is it a taboo in the US to smoke?

It’s not completely a taboo yet but it’s getting to that point.

A taboo is something that is looked down upon in a society.

First of all, we want to acknowledge that smoking is a real, medical addiction.

We understand that you can’t just snap your fingers and quit.


Smoking in the 1980’s:

You could walk into a restaurant and they would ask you “smoking or non?” so most restaurants had a smoking section.

These days we rarely see a smoking section in a restaurant, at least in the Northeastern part of the US.


Smoking in the 1990’s:

It was much less of a taboo in the ’90’s.

It was almost considered cool and of course it was considered fashionable and sexy back in the 1930’s, 1940’s, etc.

Back in the 1980’s we had the Just Say No campaign which was run by the DARE (Drug Abuse Reduction Campaign).

As early as age 8, 9, 10, they taught kids in schools to say no to drugs and smoking.


What are the laws?

The smoking laws are different in every state but 81% of the US lives under some kind of smoking ban, whether it’s a ban from the city or the state.

Click here to read the laws.


What should you be prepared for if you are a smoker in the US?

You should know that people might judge you.

People are going to have an opinion especially if you are walking around and your smoke gets into someone’s face they might say something to you.

Try to walk away from the group of people that you are with.

Observe the norms in the places where you hang out.

It depends on your social group.


What do you think about today’s episode? Are you a smoker?

If you have been to the US what was your experience?

Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Overcoming addiction from smoking is as same as rescuing yourself from death .
    Smoking becomes a serious health hazard . It is super tough to kick the habit . Don’t let smoking rule your life ! Be addicted to AEE and stay on top of the world !

  • AlUribe2020

    At the time I write this, I haven´t listened the podcast yet, but I want to say something.
    On the 19th century, an American lawyer named Lysander Spooner wrote that vices are not a crime. He says everybody has the right to take a vice, but under the understood that he or she won´t hurt everyone else. He says that vices are part of freedom.
    I don´t smoke but I had had to be in touch with a lot of smokers, almost every day. I think the rules is: Respect the smoker and he or she will respect your right to be a non-smoker.
    I´ll listen the podcast, I promise.

  • @AlUribe2020:disqus we agree and we tried to make that clear- listen to our comments about our coffee addictions and how we are not making a value judgment or telling anyone to quit. We are simply talking about the culture around smoking in the US

  • Veronika

    Hey guys, I love your podcast. I learn something about English and about North-American culture. Also, you’re always so bubbly, so it’s fun. Are all Americans so enthusiastic all the time? Anyway, thanks and have a beautiful day! 😉

  • @disqus_Yyo6DsbjYV:disqus thanks for listening! Glad you’re learning. Please share the podcast with your friends!

  • @mollie_tai:disqus thanks Mollie good summary

  • Rie

    This is my first comment on your blog here. I enjyoed your podcast very much. Also in Japan, smoking situation is rapidly changing. The warning is written on the cigarette box, like” Smoking is NOT good for your health. ” Even though, a lot of people especially men continue smoking knowing it’s bad for them. For smokers, smoking is a way of releasing stress, I guess. But in my opinion, smokers should probably find another way of releasing stress or staying relaxed.

  • @Rie- thanks for your comment! I agree! Please share the podcast with your friends and colleagues in Japan!

  • Angelo

    I do not smoke, would you marry me?
    I promise you I will never smoke.