Smoking Fetish

Dr. Brittany Ferri PhD

This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Brittany Ferri PhD

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Someone who has a smoking fetish is known to derive sexual pleasure from the thought or act of smoking. It includes becoming aroused when seeing someone else smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and hookahs.

Another term for it is capnolagnia, which has been well-documented in the media. For example, lovers in movies often smoke a cigarette immediately following sex. Media personalities have even referred to this as an addictive and unusual trend. It makes it even more arousing for those who engage in this activity.

  • People with a smoking fetish experience sexual arousal when watching someone else smoke, smoking themselves, or merely imagining someone smoking.

Researchers have found that heterosexual and gay men are the most likely to experience them. It is due to their connection, oral fixations, and enjoying fellatio. Women in the media tend to perpetuate this trend, as seen in ads promoting provocative imagery and smoking cigarettes, cigars, and marijuana.

The connection between smoking and sexual arousal is in the media and movies. According to Dr. Mark D. Griffiths, a Professor of Behavioral Addiction at Nottingham Trent University (U.K.), “Watch any film or television show made before 2000 that features a post-coital couple in bed, and odds on, one of them will be smoking a cigarette”.

Author Brian Alexander at NBC News points out, “the smoking backlash can have the perverse effect of making it seem even more decadent, sort of like eating a bacon-stuffed meatloaf wrapped in bacon.”

  • Connecting sexualization with smoking includes oral fixations and fellatio, explaining why heterosexual and gay men mostly experience capnolagnia.

Those involved in mental health and addiction often have difficulty determining their exact prevalence. Regardless, the authors of the DSM-IV-TR classify them as a type of paraphilia. Paraphilias are “recurrent, intense sexually-arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving nonhuman objects.”

  • Mental health professionals tend to classify it as mostly harmless and not requiring treatment unless it involves children or interferes with one’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

The American Psychiatric Association reports that people with a diagnosed mental health condition smoke twice as often as those in the general public. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that people with mental health conditions smoke nearly one-third of all cigarettes consumed in the U.S.”

The prevalence of smoking fetishism is challenging to determine. However, it is a popular topic on several mainstream social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. In addition, multiple public message boards promote provocative imagery depicting attractive women smoking.

Users in fetish-based groups often report becoming aware of their arousal from smoking during puberty. Many people have specific scenarios that trigger their arousals, such as a particular cigarette brand, the smoker’s appearance, or a sexual position. Since this heightens their experience, individuals may have their partner act out these scenarios as part of a consensual adult relationship.

In the online MEL Magazine, an anonymous 45-year-old heterosexual male named ‘Andrew’ discusses his first-hand experience with one. He explains that he started in high school with the sexualization of smoking in movies. “I loved the scene at the end of Grease when Olivia Newton-John comes out as Bad Sandy and smokes a cigarette. But that probably had something to do with her hotpants, high heels, and hair, too”.