How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Pidginboy, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Pidginboy Senior Member

    India-Local dialect
    How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?

    How can one ask the above question in informal language? Can I ask like:" How many fags do you puff out a day?"
  2. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    You can only phrase it that way in countries where those slang terms are commonly used. In the United States, for example, one does not "puff out" cigarettes, and fags would never be understood to mean "cigarettes", but would only be understood to mean "homosexual men". Thus, if you asked your question in the US, you should expect a very confused reation.
  3. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    We don't use puff out either, PB. Despite having been a smoker for nearly 29 years, I can't think of a single slang replacement for the verb smoke* ~ "How many fags do you smoke a day?" is the slangiest I could make that question.

    *One does puff on a cigarette, but that describes the act of smoking rather than the habit.
  4. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "How many cigarettes a day do you get through?" is fairly informal, I think.
  5. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    I'm not a smoker, but my father has smoked for years. He was quite proud of himself, when he could say he would only 'smoke one pack a day' (a pack is normally 20 cigarettes). When discussing it with another smoker, he would say 'how many packs a day do you smoke?'
  6. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Because of the word's well-known and offensive American meaning, I would definitely avoid using the slang word "fag" (=cigarette) in any international context.
  7. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    In AE, I think we would more likely say, "go through" than "get through", at least in this context. For regular smokers, I agree that "packs" seem to be the unit used most often: "about a pack a day", "about half a pack a day', about two packs a day".
  8. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    Packs to me would imply a heavy smoker.
    I would say fags but in view of the American meaning, we often just say cigs or ciggies.
    So maybe, "How many cigs do you get /go through each day?"
    If you are against smoking, " How many of those cancer sticks do you get through each day?"
    Definitely don´t use puff out!
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    As far as I know we don't measure ciggie consumption in packs (or packets, which is what I call them) in the UK but in units:
    He's a 40-a-day man, etc.
  10. MikeLynn

    MikeLynn Senior Member

    :) When I heard that for the first time, I'd spent some time hanging around with Americans and Canadians by that time, I was really confused and it took some time for me to realize that a fag was a cigarette or a smoke/"shmoke" ;).
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The question presumes that the title question (I changed the title :)) is formal. It doesn't sound particularly formal to me though more natural forms include:
    How many do you smoke a day?
    How much do you smoke?

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