Verbal and Nonverbal Strategies of Interaction between Active and Passive Smokers in Situations of Smoking in Public Places: a Method of Case Formulation



Objective. Identification of the features of social perception in situations of smoking in public places, as well as patterns and strategies of interaction in the communicative practices of active and passive smokers in public urban spaces using the “case formulation” method.Background. Because of the non-compliance with the law on smoking in public places, the issue of combating such violations becomes urgent. But it is important to use not only the administrative resources of the state, but also social control. Searching for the features of communicative practices of both active and passive smokers in relation to each other, their mutual social perception and factors influencing the interaction between them will help to suggest effective ways to use social capital to combat the problem of smoking in public places.Study design. The paper studied cases related to the behavior of smokers and non-smokers in an open urban space. Using the interpretation of qualitative data, categories and subcategories corresponding to the patterns of behavior of subjects and their mutual perception from both interacting groups were identified. Categories and subcategories were formed by data encoding.Participants. For the study, 4 cases of interaction between active and passive smokers in Tverskaya Street were selected by random sampling.Measurements. The method of covert observation with a passive type of participation was chosen. 4 observation sessions were conducted the results of which formed the basis of the cases. The observation involved the study of the behavior of subjects in relation to each other, including verbal and nonverbal signs exchanged by communication participants; features of urban spaces in which communication takes place; the place of interaction.Results. Active and passive smokers use verbal and nonverbal interaction strategies, which are characterized by some features of social perception. Thus, verbal ones include an impersonal expression of discontent, an appeal to the fact of smoking, an appeal to the smell; non-verbal ones — most often motor ones: slowing down the step, accelerating the step/overtaking, as well as changing the trajectory of smoke.Conclusions. The using of the case formulation method opens up opportunities for studying various communicative practices in the modern urban environment. It is important to conduct communication campaigns aimed at both violators and people affected by their actions. The former should be encouraged to behave responsibly by the immersive transfer of “someone else’s” social experience, the victims should be mobilized to use the advantages of their existing social coercion apparatus by verbalizing demands.

General Information

Keywords: smoking in public places, passive and active smoking, communication, patterns of smoking behavior, tobacco, electronic cigarettes, smoking prevention

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Received: 12.12.2021


For citation: Bedina I.D., Kochetova T.V. Verbal and Nonverbal Strategies of Interaction between Active and Passive Smokers in Situations of Smoking in Public Places: a Method of Case Formulation. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2022. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 80–96. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2022130306. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Inessa D. Bedina, student, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Tatiana V. Kochetova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor at the Chair of Management Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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