How to Practice Chewing Gum Etiquette

Some say we can look like a cow chewing its cud. Gum cracking features as one of the great American pastimes. Yet when to chew gum and how to chew gum should be part of an American primer on etiquette or basic politeness. Depending on where you are and what you are doing, that repeated masticating of gum can be seen as rude or worse. Sure, it's not tobacco, but if you would like to make sure not to offend superiors, friends or relatives, watch your gum chewing habit.


    • 1

      Chew gum with your mouth, or rather lips, closed. Open-mouthed chewing can be disgusting and seen as associated with someone who is low class or holds a limited education.

    • 2

      Spit out gum discreetly into a napkin, not into the street. How and where you dispose of your gum can make a difference.

    • 3

      Avoid chewing gum in church, during any professional meeting, at a job interview, and in small classes or classes in which discussion occurs regularly. Strive to make a positive impression. Enjoy gum informally and in your leisure time instead, especially when cracking gum or blowing bubbles.

    • 4

      Reject gum chewing in jobs which involve a lot of talking: teachers, counselors, therapists, salespersons and preachers. Actors and singers should also not chew gum while performing.

    • 5

      Speak to older people, especially relatives, without gum in your mouth whenever possible. This demonstrates respect and attention.

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