Smoking fetishism

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An example of fashion photography involving cigarettes.
An example of fashion photography involving cigarettes.

Smoking fetishism (also known as capnolagnia) is a sexual fetish based on the pulmonary consumption (smoking) of tobacco, most often via cigarettes, cigars, and also pipes and hookahs to some extent. As a fetish, its mechanisms regard sexual arousal from the observation or imagination of a person smoking, sometimes including oneself.


Capnolagnia is not considered a disease but an unusual sexual practice, and many of the fetishists do not seek medical help unless this behavior strongly interferes with their daily lives. The majority of people simply learn to accept their fetish and manage to achieve gratification in an appropriate manner.[1]

A 2003 study found that the fetish was not previously the subject of academic study but had been mentioned in "a few newspapers".[2]


The mannerism of the smoker, as shown here, may also elicit sexual arousal.

Like any fetish, the causes and mechanisms of a smoking fetish vary widely, with roots of sexual association in early childhood and adolescence. Typical causes and hypotheses include:


The diagnostic criteria for fetishism are:

  • Unusual sexual fantasies, drives or behavior occur over a time span of at least six months. Sometimes unusual sexual fantasies occur and vanish by themselves; in this case any medical treatment is not necessary.
  • The affected person, her object or another person experience impairment or distress in multiple functional areas. Functional area refers to different aspects of life such as private social contacts, job, etc. It is sufficient for the diagnosis if one of the participants is being hurt or mistreated in any other way.

People who experience one or more of the symptoms below are considered to have a smoking fetish:

  • Sexual interest in smoking or watching other people smoking.
  • Recurring intense sexual fantasies involving smoking or watching other people smoking.
  • Recurring intense sexual urges involving smoking or watching other people smoking.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Treatments for Capnolagnia". Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  2. ^ Ribisl KM, Lee RE, Henriksen L, Haladjian HH, "A content analysis of Web sites promoting smoking culture and lifestyle", Health Educ Behav. 2003 Feb;30(1):64-78
  3. ^ Hwang, Suein (31 Jan 1996). "Drag Queens: Paula Puffs and Her Fans Watch, Enraptured". Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  4. ^ "Symptoms of Capnolagnia". Retrieved 2010-04-22.