Britons don't bum smokes?

My sister and I went to dinner and a movie recently and a friend of hers, originally from England, but now in the Netherlands, was in town and came with us. After the movie we went to a bar for some beers. He was a smoker but had no cigarettes. So I said, “Just bum one off that guy there.” He refused. So I did it for him. He was amazed that in America people do that. I was amazed that anywhere else people don’t. From what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t be suprised if a Klansman bummed a smoke to a five-percenter or vice-versa. I thought smoke bumming was the great equalizer.

So tell me: do people bum smokes where you’re from? And where are you from? Is this an “American thing”?

i bum smokes off friends (on the very rare occasion i’m stressed/drunk enough to want one) but never off strangers.

ok, i’m irish, but it’s kind of scabby and rude to do it to people you don’t know.

people here are more likely to offer their pack around their friends before they light up, which is “not done” in the states, according to the mericans i know.
bumming a light good, bumming a smoke from anyone but a mate, bad.

Given the definition of “bum” in England, I should hope they don’t.

That aside, I’d be surprised to find it’s strictly an American thing. I’m American, and I know we’re considered rude and pushy and all that, but it’s not like we’re talking about asking for a kidney or a person’s first born child. Are folks in other countries that selfish? I doubt it.

I am in America and all the smokers I know bum smokes off friends.

WTH is a five-percenter?

Happens over here, but I mostly hang out with poor students.
It doesn’t happen too often, and most smokers I know don’t do it, but I’ve been with them when people just walk over to them and ask for one. Bit cheeky if you ask me, as they’re about 23p each over here.

I’m in Canada, and up here it’s rare to bum smokes from a stranger. Often a stranger will offer to buy one of your cigarettes though. Asking a stranger to give you a cigarette for nothing seems pretty rude.

As Irishgirl said about the UK, in London, most people when lighting a cigarette ask those with them if they would like one(at least in my group of friends). It surprised me at first, as an american, but I soon realized that it all sorted itself out. As many times as I offered I also accepted. When I came back to the states, it took a little while to break the habit of offering cigarettes–It was one of my “quirks”.

Well the Brit smokers I know will bum fags, but only off friends. We Brits are usually too uptight to bum a smoke off someone we don’t know. The price of ciggies is just too high in UK to be given away to strangers too often. But as Irishgirl said a social smoker may offer cigs to others when they light up.
Cheers, Bippy

“When you ask for a fag in Texas, smile.”

                                       - "Smile" The Fall

So it sounds to me like Mark E. Smith bums cigarettes.

Damn, I was going to do the old saw about the Brit who asks “Mind if I pinch a fag?” and is told that his personal life is his own business.

The ettiquette in my part of the world (western Canada) seems to be that you should offer to purchase the cigarette, showing the money to indicate good faith (usually $.50 to $1.00), but that the person with the cigarettes should refuse to take the money.

Tiresome teenagers sometimes do tht where I live, but…um… when I say “tiresome”, I don’t men all kids ('cos sometimes there are definitely too young to smoke legally anyway), but I sort of mean this is a nasty area and I think they are pretty nasty kids.

All the same, if you somehow found that you had left the house without any smokes, you might …ahem" bum a fag" from a stranger, but perhaps in the situation where you coudl not leave the bus stop or whatever to buy some, and perhaps also in the cse that you had already been chatting to said stranger.

Is that making any sense?

I suppose the short version is - yes, 'tis more or less ok from a friend, cos you would do the same for them, but one would hardly
approach a stranger.

However, aprt from the aforesiad teenagers (the ones who seem nasty bits of work anway), personally, I’d usually comply with the request with no problem.

You have no idea idea just how complicated the game ofo British reserve is! :slight_smile:

A hard-core adherent to the Nation of Islam’s core beliefs that the white race was created a little over 6,000 years ago in a depraved genetics experiment by the mad scientist Yakub, and that white people are literally (blue eyed) devils who, having been ordained to rule for about 6,000 years, are about to become subjugated by the non-white races. No joke.

This should at least qualify as a qualified cite. A really good book to read is C. Eric Lincoln’s Black Muslims in America.

Thanks for the input, everybody!:slight_smile:

oh heck! So where shall we white freckly creatures without blue eyes find a homeland?

Well, the existence of certain types of nutters in the world is scary enough to give me an enexcuse not to give up smoking! :slight_smile:

I figure if you can’t afford to fund your own habit, it’s time to quit.
But on to answering the question, yes it happens here all the time (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Sometimes they’ll offer to buy.
It’s also rather common to lie and say that you’re down to you “last couple” instead of just saying ‘no’.
Personally, if I’m gonna ‘bum a smoke’, I’ll make sure to pay the person back out of my next pack, IOTW, I’d never ask a stranger.

A little off topic:
I used to work in a coatcheck, and people would often come back for their cigarettes forgotten in a pocket. If we were busy we’de refer them to the cigarette vending machine not 5 feet away and offer to make change for them.
Could someone explain to me why so many of them actually preferred to wait until I had the time to go get the pack out of their jacket? They’re smokers, it’s not like they won’t be able to finish two packs…
And no, it’s probably not a case of brand selection since the machine carried 25 different choices.

cigarette machines charge an outrageous price, usually.

Good idea, but the machine was always on par with downtown prices. For example, current downtown price is $8-$8.50/pack of 25, the machine charges $8.50. Unless you buy from the reserve or by the carton, this shouldn’t be affecting you.

in australia durry scabbing happens

Not being a smoker myself, I don’t know the answer to the mysterious cigarette machine question - but I used to date a guy who was always complaining that the packs in vending machines were usally 17 or 18 to a pack instead of 20.

That’s a weird one. Having grown up largely in the UK, I thought this was normal. Now I find that, in my experience, it’s the only country in the world that does it. It looks to me like a scam to get more money out of the punter. My theory is that is is the legacy of a way to allow the vending machine to accept the same money regardless of the fundamental price of the cigarettes, but newer machines have functionality to avoid this, but the practice still goes on.

Last time I was in the UK one only got 16 fags for the £73 or whatever they are there now. But it works both ways: once, in Derbyshire, I bought a packet of Woodbines from a vending machine, and it not only came out with 20 cigs in it, but it had 35p sellotaped to the packet.

Wow. I am sorry I asked. There are some things that even as a Straight Doper I would prefer to be ignorant about!