Like pipe smoking, cigarette smoking is a displacement of inner tension and allows time to stall, but the cigarette smoker generally reaches his decision faster than the pipe smoker. The pipe smoker is, in effect, a cigarette smoker who needs more time to stall in making decisions than his cigarettes allow. The cigarette ritual involves tapping, twisting, flicking, waving and other mini-gestures indicating that the person is experiencing more tension than may be normal.
One particular signal indicates whether the person has a positive or negative attitude towards his circumstances; the direction in which the smoke is exhaled, whether it is up or down. A person who is feeling positive, superior or confident will blow the smoke in an upward direction most of the time. Conversely, a person in a negative, secretive or suspicious frame of mind will blow the smoke down most of the time. Blowing down and from the corner of the mouth indicates an even more negative or secretive attitude. This, of course, assumes that the smoker is not blowing the smoke upwards to avoid offending others; in that case, he could have blown the smoke in either direction.
In motion pictures, the leader of a motorcycle gang or criminal syndicate is usually portrayed as a tough, aggressive person who, as he smokes, tilts his head back sharply and with controlled precision blows the smoke awards the ceiling to demonstrate his superiority to the rest of the gang. In contrast, Humphrey Bogart was often cast as a gangster or criminal who always held his cigarette inverted in his hand and blew the smoke own from the corner of his mouth as he fanned a gaol break or other devious activity. There also appears to be a relationship between how positive or negative the person feels and ie speed at which he or she exhales the poke. The faster the smoke is blown upwards the more superior or confident the person feels; the faster it is blown down, the more negative he feels.
If a card player who is smoking is dealt a god hand, he is likely to blow the smoke upwards, whereas a poor hand may cause him blow it downwards. Some card players see a 'poker face' when playing cards as a method of not displaying any body signals that may give them away, while other players like to be actors and use misleading body language to lull the other players into a false sense of security. If, for example, a poker layer were dealt four aces and he wanted to bluff the other players, he could throw the cards face down on the table in disgust and then curse, swear or fold his arms and put on a non-verbal display that would indicate that he had been dealt a poor hand. But then he quietly sits back and draws on his cigarette and blows the smoke upwards! Having read this chapter, you will now be aware that it would be unwise for the other players to play the next hand as they would probably be beaten. Observation of smoking gestures in selling shows that when a smoker is asked to buy, those who have reached a positive decision blow the smoke upwards, whereas those who have decided not to buy blow it downwards. The alert sales person, seeing the smoke being blown downwards during the close of a sale could quickly resell the customer on all the benefits he would receive by purchasing the product, to allow the customer time to reconsider his decision.
Blowing smoke out through the nostrils is a sign of a superior, confident individual. The smoke is blown downwards only because of the physical location of the nostrils and the person often tilts his head back in a 'looking down his nose' position. If the person's head is down as he nose-blows the smoke, he is angry and is trying to look ferocious, like an angry bull.
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