To Top

The Downside of Smoking Culture in Gaming

Video games are a great escape from the real world. From fast-paced violence and street races to cyberpunk city lines and mythical beasts, some of the joys of gaming come from being able to do the things we can’t do as easily in real life.

However, one real-life element that is also prevalent in gaming is smoking. In our post on badass smokers in video games, we highlighted some of the most iconic characters whose appearances rarely go without a cigarette, a cigar, or a pipe. From Metal Gear Solid’s Snake to League of Legends’ Graves, many of these characters have smoking as a huge part of their characterization.

Like films created during Hollywood’s Golden Age, games often use cigarette and tobacco imagery as a shorthand for coolness and rebellion. However, while depictions of smoking are no longer seen as frequently on the silver screen — due to public perception of the effects of cigarettes on human health — the gaming industry and community have yet to catch up with these changes.

Gaming and smoking

It’s hard to say exactly how many gamers are smokers. In one 2012 study, 74.5% of the smokers surveyed said they also played video games. Another survey conducted in 2015 found that 26% of male and 22% of female respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 who play games also bought cigarettes. What is certain, however, is that video games continue to depict smoking – sometimes in a glamorized way. As mentioned, tobacco is often used to make characters look tougher and grittier, which can potentially influence how gamers view these products, especially as these depictions are prevalent. One recent study found that seven of the 20 bestselling video games in the US contained a variety of tobacco imagery, exposing players to as much as 38 minutes of tobacco content. 

There is also plenty of content on online forums from gamers sharing their experiences with cigarettes. While some gamers try to smoke without interrupting their playing time or don’t mind it when fellow players take cigarette breaks, many players are also quick to point out the harmful effects of smoking on gaming equipment. This post highlights how, when a computer is exposed to cigarette smoke, dust and tar combine within – becoming a thick, sticky, black slime that is difficult to clean, making it difficult for a computer’s cooling fans to move and potentially ruining the hardware. 

Then, of course, there are the detrimental health effects of smoking, such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, type 3 diabetes, and other chronic pulmonary diseases, to name a few. All in all, while smoking tends to be positively shown in video games, gamers have a lot more to lose from using cigarettes than they stand to win.

Quit tips for gamers

Of course, bad habits are difficult to break. Smoking, in particular, is challenging as you may experience intense withdrawal symptoms like cravings, irritation, restlessness, or insomnia. These can lead to a lack of concentration, affecting your gaming experience and success.

Fortunately, there are many smokeless, tobacco-free products available on the market today with which you can replace cigarettes. Nicotine pouches have been well-received as reduced-risk oral nicotine products because these don’t produce smoke; you can place these pouches between your gum and lip to absorb the nicotine and flavorings. Today, pouches from reputable brands are available in physical convenience stores and via online retailers like this site. On! pouches are some of the most popular products, as they sell refreshing flavors such as Citrus, Coffee, and Cinnamon, which may be ideal for gamers who want a hands-free experience.

Another option would be to replace the cigarettes with chewing gum instead. If you’re in the habit of taking a smoke break while gaming, nicotine gum might be an excellent choice to help you manage withdrawal symptoms and focus on the game. LUCY Chew and Park, which you can read more about in this press release, is a noncombustible oral gum-like product that contains 4 mg of nicotine. There is a conservative assumption that LUCY presents 5% of the risk of smoking cigarettes, so opting for this product means it’s a safer choice for you (and for your gaming setup) in the long run.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

More in Gaming Life

  • Minecraft Live 2023

    Calling all Minecraft enthusiasts and builders extraordinaire, it’s that time of year again! Minecraft Live is back, and it promises to...

    Indie Game DevSeptember 20, 2023
  • Top 10 Best Selling Capcom Game Series

    Capcom, the legendary Japanese video game developer and publisher, has been responsible for creating some of the most iconic and beloved...

    Indie Game DevJune 4, 2023
  • 11 Cozy Games To Enjoy on Xbox

    There’s nothing quite like curling up on the couch with a warm cup of tea and playing a cozy game. Whether...

    Indie Game DevMarch 26, 2023
  • Video Games With Irish Connections | St. Patrick’s Day Edition ☘️

    With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, it’s the perfect time to celebrate all things Irish, including video games that are set in...

    Indie Game DevMarch 16, 2023
  • Choosing The Right Gaming Set Up

    If you’re a video game streamer, having the ultimate gaming setup is crucial. Not only does it improve the quality of...

    Indie Game DevFebruary 25, 2023