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Author Topic: Culture: the offer of a cigarette  (Read 1090 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« on: August 09, 2015, 04:34:26 AM »
What does happen when you refuse an offered cigarette? I recall the Late Great Raoul at least once suggesting as a rule of thumb in China  never refuse an offered cigarette. I no longer smoke, and haven't in years, but even if I did, I'm not sure I'd know what to do with an offered cigarette. Is the cigarette rule still in force?

I was in a new restaurant today and the boss, a large burly man, appeared at my shoulder as I was finishing up and offered a smoke. I said thanks, I don't. A dude at a table opposite watching on said "No Smoking!" in that odd, tv announcer way non-English speakers have with the occasional English tidbit. I assume therefore cigarette etiquette still exists and people still pay attention. I tried to make up for it by smiling at everyone as I left. Perhaps I can never go back.

» now with New and Endlessly Improving CV 4U  ٩( ᐛ )و

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 02:25:08 AM »
I turn down cigarettes all the time.  I just smile, mime taking a puff and then mime aaaaaaaaaa, followed by a silly grin.  Gets the message across, but doesn't seem to offend too many people.
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Stil

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Re: Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 06:02:55 AM »
While what Raoul said was true at the time, a lot has changed. Refusing a cigarette is ok if you don't smoke. (Of course, if they know you smoke and someone offers you one, refusing is rude.)

Something to note: If you say you don't smoke, many will continue to offer, but if you say you've quit smoking 忌烟了 jìyān le, people seem to respect that more.

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 09:26:42 AM »
So I guess I should start and then quit. ahahahahah
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The Local Dialect

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Re: Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 04:05:16 PM »
Cigarette offers seem to happen a lot more in the south than in the north. In 5 years in Beijing I don't think I was offered a cigarette even once, and my husband probably could count the amount of offers he had on one hand. Now that we're back in Kunming we both get offered cigarettes constantly. This is a tobacco producing province though, and people take their smoking seriously. That said, people do seem to accept a refusal more than they used to, but if you accept even one they'll keep offering and won't take no for an answer. It is also acceptable to take a cigarette, but tuck it behind your ear to save for later!

scotto858

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Re: Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2015, 10:21:12 AM »
I had quit smoking and drinking for 11 months before I came to China. I lasted a month.   how.. oh how.. does warm beer and a phlegm hocking  populace affect me so?    Be strong... don't just refuse... refuse EMPHATICALLY and violently. carry water with you to douse any zombies that wont take no for an answer. culture be damned! protect yourself. trust no one that drinks hot water in the summer.

cruisemonkey

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Re: Culture: the offer of a cigarette
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2015, 10:47:03 PM »
I work with a non-smoking colleague who wrote a letter to the uni president (who smokes) stating all the reasons why smoking shouldn't be allowed at meetings and dinners.

Fast forward to the end of semester 'gala dinner' for laowai at the uni hotel -
Around the giant, revolving lazy Susan table, each place setting has an ashtray... and two packs of Chunghwa cigarettes.  ahahahahah


The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.