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Smirting is the practice of smoking and flirting outside public places such as pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants, and office buildings where smoking is prohibited.[1][2][3][4]


Smirting was first identified in New York in 2003,[5][6] and spread to the Republic of Ireland in 2004 when an aggressive smoking ban in public places was enacted.[7]

Smirting has been so successful that non-smokers try to mingle with the smirters.[5] The non-smokers may then start to smoke too and so this is a health risk.[8]

Sociologist and sexologist Pepper Schwartz states that the smirters are "defiant and angry, they don't buy the second-hand smoke argument, and want to share this grudge with someone else." When they are forced outside, smirters form strong bonds in what is essentially an exile community.[9] But this exile community has its rewards. One study found that 25% of Irish couples who had started a relationship during 2007 or 2008 had met while smoking outside.[5]


  1. ^ Hughes, Sarah (2005-10-30). "Smoking ban lights up love life". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-18. Welcome to the practice of smirting (smoking and flirting), a craze which has swept Ireland since the introduction of the pub and restaurant smoking ban in January 2004.
  2. ^ Griffin, Jon (2009-04-03). "Love is in the smoke air". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2009-04-18. The spectre on our doorsteps is smirting – flirting for smokers.
  3. ^ Henley, Peter (2005-03-11). "Smirting". BBC. Retrieved 2009-04-18. They call it smirting. Like flirting, but more likely to succeed. [...] The Irish Government's ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants has forced smokers in the capital out on to the pavement.
  4. ^ Patience, Martin (2004-04-25). "Dating scene wafts to sidewalks; Exiled smokers congregate and let the sparks fly". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-04-18. But the smirting scene presents the perils of any dating forum: unwanted attention.
  5. ^ a b c Soames, Gemma (2007-08-12). "Smoke signals - Forget clubs and bars – the best place to pull is out on the street, hanging with the smokers. Our correspondent discovers the art of smirting". The Times. First identified in Ireland – one study found that a quarter of Irish couples who got together over the past two years had met while smoking alfresco
  6. ^ Chevron, Doris (2005). New York. Marco Polo Reiseführer (in German). Mair Dumont Marco Polo. p. 14. ISBN 3-8297-0159-4. Retrieved 2009-04-18. ... ihres Bürgermeisters Michael Bloomberg, nehmen die New Yorker es jetzt gelassen und üben sich in smirting - dem Smoke-Flirt beim Rauchen vor der Tür.
  7. ^ McCann, Nuala (2007-05-01). "Romance blossoms at pub doors". BBC. Smirting took off in the Republic of Ireland in the aftermath of its smoking ban in 2004.
  8. ^ Katie Evans. The art of smirting. BBC.
  9. ^ Patience, Martin (2004-04-18). "Outcast 'smirters' have a new way to find light of their lives". San Diego Union-Tribune. A new term has appeared among daters to describe the outdoors smoking and flirting phenomenon: Smirting.