Is it Rude To Chew Gum?

Chewing gum has been around since the late 1920s when the original Double Bubble chewing gum hit the shelves. 

But, how rude is it to chew gum, actually? Is there a difference between where you are, and what you’re doing, and whether or not you should chew it? 

Read on below and discover the honest answer to this question!

Is it Rude to Chew Gum?

Chewing gum is made for one thing; chewing, chewing, and more chewing. There is nothing even remotely rude about chewing gum, generally speaking. What may be rude is chewing it while talking to others, specifically during meetings or important conversations.

How Rude Is it?


Chewing gum, on a scale of 1 to 10, rates 3 on the rude meter. The act of chewing gum itself isn’t rude at all, as chewing is exactly what gum was made for. 

However, the act of chewing it loudly while others are talking, in meetings, at work, or during other improper occasions, is often seen as rude or tasteless.

Why is it Not Rude?

The chewing of the gum itself isn’t what is seen as rude. It is the chewing of gum while others are trying to work, communicate with you (or others), or something similar. 

For example, if your boss calls you into her office, you may want to hold off on gum chewing until afterward. 

Likewise, if you are stepping up to the podium to give a speech, or picking up a call (or Zoom), it is best to avoid gum chewing.

Other Options to Do Instead

If you have a bad habit of chewing gum in front of others (and at all the times you shouldn’t), you may want to consider a few other options like:

  • Switching to hard candy that you can suck on or let dissolve in your mouth with little to no noise
  • Only chewing gum before and after work (or school)
  • Carry lots of gum and regularly take it out of your mouth and throw it away (rather than chewing in front of others and during meetings or classes)

Common Questions

What is proper gum-chewing etiquette?

Gum should be removed from your mouth when you are eating, drinking, smoking, or doing anything else orally. Likewise, you should take it out and throw it away regularly (“saving it for later” is not acceptable), especially if you will be engaged vocally.

Is it ok to chew gum at work?

Chewing gum at work is ok depending on the workplace. If you have a workspace of your own, you may chew gum to your heart’s content. But, if you share close working quarters with others, or need to communicate regularly, skip the gum chewing while working.

Is it rude to chew gum while talking?

Most people consider it annoying (if not flat-out rude) when someone chews gum while they are talking. Blowing bubbles with chewing gum and smacking your lips loudly while chewing it, while someone is talking to you (or to others) is also considered extremely rude.