Just as fashion designers follow different trends and books are organized into different genres, the age-old hobby of smoking has distinct categories all its own. As the interests and preferences of various nicotine users have developed and deviated, a handful of different smoking castes have grown. Whether you recognize it or not, your smoking style sorts you into one of the following groups, but how long you ascribe to that group’s core personality traits is up to you.
All smokers have stories of their “first times,” but smokers are less likely to reminisce on the long period of education they endured after their first cigarettes. Novice smokers are easy to pick out — they are the ones who can’t seem to hold their cigarettes comfortably, who take a few tries to flick the cherry, and who still sometimes cough and sputter after a deep drag. Usually, beginning smokers experiment heavily with different makes and models, zealously trying to determine their favorite tastes without understanding exactly what differentiates a Camel Turkish Royal from a Marlboro Gold. Still, their fledgling interest in the hobby is enough to inspire any old tobacco enthusiast.
It seems that some smokers have an immunity to the addictive quality of nicotine. Even though they may smoke like chimneys at parties and bars, these smokers are able to stay off the stuff whenever they are outside exceedingly social environments. Recreational smokers enjoy the hobby for the mild buzz it provides as well as the social interaction it encourages, but they don’t feel any desire to smoke at any other time. Most smokers love to hate these folks, who seem to flaunt their iron wills in front of true-blue nicotine addicts.
Electronic cigarettes aren’t a particularly new phenomenon, but over the past couple years the vaping community has absolutely exploded. Now, vapers enjoy unprecedented levels of creativity and experimentation with their devices and flavors. For example, vapers who don’t want to commit to an expensive rig can enjoy long-lasting disposable e-cigs, while those who love to tinker can mix and match mouthpieces, mods, and more to craft the perfect vaporizer. Smokers turn into vapers for dozens of reasons: They might want to kick the habit entirely, or they might be enticed by the delicious flavors of e-juice. No matter the cause, it seems that the vaping trend is here to stay.
Perhaps the most iconic smoking style, the cowboy has smoked for decades, and you can tell. Unlike most smokers, who may look suave (or silly) with a cigarette in hand, cowboy smokers seem to draw power and authority from their rolls. Often, old smokers like these try to convince young’uns to avoid the habit altogether. With deep voices, craggy faces, and yellow-stained teeth and fingernails, cowboys serve to remind us what will happen if we continue our habit.
Evangelist smokers are those who love the habit so much they call it a hobby. These smokers have sampled every make and model on the market, from cloves to filterless, and have an opinion on each. Some have even experimented thoroughly outside the realm of cigarettes, exploring the broader world of tobacco products like snuff, twist, plug, and cigars. They love to rhapsodize to smokers and non-smokers alike on the beautiful sensations of smoking — though no one truly wants to listen to them. Still, nothing will dissuade the evangelist from quitting their favorite pastime.
At some point, every smoker has been confronted with the grim reality of an empty pack. Usually, there is another friendly, tobacco-scented face nearby to lend an extra cigarette. Most smokers try to prevent borrowing from becoming a habit. However, the mooch seems never to have his or her own cigarettes on hand and is always asking friends and strangers for a roll and a light. Smokers, being innately gracious individuals, will always oblige, but they can almost always recognize a mooch when they see one. The worst thing about a mooch is that any other type of smoker can quickly and easily become one. All it takes is a few instances with an empty pack to see an upstanding smoker turn into a cigarette-grubbing mooch.