Saturday, September 17, 2011

Smokers; A subculture

by Victoria Solomon

I was looking for a subculture to write about one day after sociology. I stumble upon a very obvious one as I walked through  CCP's campus.

Smokers are a sub culture within our dominant culture. They live in our society and obey the same rules as we do. However they also have to follow certain rules that only apply to them. Rules such as no smoking indoors.

The smoker subculture consists of people of different ages ranging from 18 and up. Smokers have their own designated places on campus and other public places where they can smoke outside. There are also special areas within restaurants and hotels where they allowed to smoke. Smokers have their own shops and stores. You can find many tobacco and pipe shops or hookah bars around town. In addition to that there are conventions for smokers.

Not everyone belongs to this subculture because not everyone smokes. People who don't smoke usually don't hang around smoking spots. In this case those who don't smoke are outsiders and do not belong to the subculture.


  1. Interesting Blog Victoria..
    This subject is one I thought extensively about while drafting my blog about "In and Out Crowds" which is do at the end of the month. I think that the smoking subculture sometimes presents itself to impressionable youth as an "in" thing to do. I disagree with your statement, however, that the smoking subculture "consists of people of different ages ranging from 18 and up", as my sister, who is just 12, recently expressed to me worry that some of the other boys and girls in her grade are smokers and more and more of her peers have felt pressure to light up.

    Do you think that the shops and hookah bars you've described glorify smoking to children as much as Joe Camel and other media targeting new smokers?

    I definitely feel that smokers are on of the most interesting subcultures. There aren't many that start as peer pressure, and sometimes end as as pressure to quit or fear of a worse outcome.

  2. I agree with the above comment. I feel that Joe Camel and those other adds attract our youth and make smoking seem like the cool thing to do. The hookah bars, smoke shops, and smoking areas are what keep the smokers smoking. I say that because there was an episode of "Friends" where Rachel pretends to smoke in order to remain her boss' right hand man, but ultimately loses her status to a coworker who "really" smokes with the boss everyday. I know its a silly sitcom, but I believe that there's truth to this.
    It's like a smoker's code or something. For example: When my boyfriend is outside smoking with my brother, they'll be outside laughing and talking longer than it takes to smoke a cigerette. So, I'll casually as what they were talking about and their response is always, "nothing much, just smoking..." What is that?

  3. I agree with Eric that the "ages ranging from 18 and up" is a false sense of reality. I myself have been smoking since I was 16, and I know plenty of others who were under legal smoking age when they started. This is an interesting topic of subcultures that comes up often at my job. I work as a waitress and there is a division amongst my colleagues - smokers and non-smokers. The non-smokers don't think its fair that smokers get to go out for a break every now and then to light up, but they (non-smokers) cannot go outside to make a phone call, etc. No wonder the majority of servers (at restaurants I've worked at) are smokers!

  4. Sorry to respond so late I just saw your comments today. To Eric and Michelle i said that the sub culture included people from 18 and up because its very rare to see people younger than 18 in the places i named in my post;the hookahs and smoke shops. I am aware that children do participate in smoking and I myslef was a very young smoker (15). I did not in any way mean to create a "false sense of reality" for my readers.

    At only Eric: I dont really think that smoke shops and hookah bars glorify smoking to the younger generation. Im only saying this from my experiences as a member of the subculture at a young age. Over the pass years I have seen a major decrease in smoking advertisments and ads. I dont think the media has much affect on recruiting young smokers as their parents and social surroundings do. I believe that they are more likely to start smoking after seeing a parent do it for so long rather than seeing an advertisement for it. I do however think that peer pressure is still strong today. I see it all the time and ive participated in peer pressuring people as well (though I regret it). Presure to smoke from peers is still at large.

    By: Victoria Solomon