Jared Oviatt of @Cigfluencers Lives and Dies by Camel Blues
SMOKING KILLS! warns the bio of @cigfluencers, an Instagram account that functions as both an archive of frozen-in-time snapshots of celebrities lighting up and a submission-based repository of sexy, smoky photos of downtowners with a deathwish. The sole, somewhat nihilistic goal of @cigfluencers is to “keep the art of SMOKING and BEING COOL alive,” with a feed populated by content like a grainy video of Interview alum and “OG cigfluencer” Fran Lebowitz proclaiming her love of smoking nestled next to a spread-eagle Lil Nas X on the London Underground, a Parliament dangling between his fingers. While we’re not necessarily condoning the revival of a notoriously bad habit, a solid contingent of this magazine’s staffers are known to indulge now and again. So, for this week’s “Search History,” we exchanged a few DMs with Jared Oviatt, the Canadian Camel-smoker behind @cigfluencers, where he shared his hot takes on bumming, branding, and vaping.
CIGFLUENCERS: 24, Male, Calgary.
INTERVIEW: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
CIGFLUENCERS: Open TikTok and start scrolling. I’m not even kidding, sometimes I’ll open up the app before I even turn off my alarm.
INTERVIEW: What’s in your bag?
CIGFLUENCERS: Nothing, usually. Literally just an empty tote bag and a dream. But if I’m really trying to look cool, I’ll pack the e-boy essentials: a book I haven’t opened, a film camera, and a water bottle.
INTERVIEW: What’s in your system?
CIGFLUENCERS: A healthy mix of Gatorade Zero, water, Metamucil, and a sesame seed bagel.
INTERVIEW: What were your last three Google searches?
CIGFLUENCERS: “Pizza Hut,” “Todd Field Stanley Kubrick”, and “Sarah Michelle Gellar Scream 2”
INTERVIEW: What’s your online stalking platform of choice?
CIGFLUENCERS: Instagram, for sure. But you’d be surprised how much you can find through LinkedIn. There is no hiding when it comes to LinkedIn…
INTERVIEW: What brand do you smoke? Are you loyal to them?
CIGFLUENCERS: If it really came down to it, Camel. Joe Camel is really the greatest Cigfluencer of all time. As far as loyalty goes, I am a creature of habit.
INTERVIEW: What’s the most you’ve paid for a pack of cigs? What’s the least?
CIGFLUENCERS: The most? Probably like $25 [Canadian Dollars] or something. It was one of those double packs or whatever. I remember being very upset when I spent that money. I’m very cheap. The least? $0…all thanks to Hestia
INTERVIEW: What’s the best place to smoke a cig? What’s the worst?
CIGFLUENCERS: Best: Outside of a bar. You meet some truly ridiculous (or incredible) people. Worst: In a car. I hate to be that guy, but cigs truly do stink. Let’s wait until we’re out of the car to light up…
INTERVIEW: Who are your three favorite Cigfluencers of the moment?
CIGFLUENCERS: Shelley Duvall has this je ne sais quoi about her. I can’t think of anyone like her. She has such a unique look.
Anya Taylor-Joy is just cool as fuck. She has this sort of effortlessness to her that makes her smoking habits that much better (and hotter)
Ben Affleck…need I say more? Nobody is doing it better than him. He is LIVING the Cigfluencer life day in, day out
INTERVIEW: What is your favorite cig/bev combination?
CIGFLUENCERS: Any cig + spiced rum and coke. It’s a classic (I think) for a reason!
INTERVIEW: What is the most iconic moment in the history of Cigfluencing?
CIGFLUENCERS: It’s pretty hard to top Charlize Theron smoking weed out of an apple WHILE also smoking a cig. But Ben Affleck smoking through his mask in the height of the pandemic was awesome.
INTERVIEW: Lighter or matches?
CIGFLUENCERS: Lighters are much more practical, obviously. But there is just something so fun about lighting a match
INTERVIEW: Do you have a favorite matchbook?
CIGFLUENCERS: I’ve had this matchbook from Helder Vices for like…5 years? I refuse to use it though because I love the branding so much. The spin on the camel logo is…chef’s kiss!
INTERVIEW: What is your smoke shop of choice?
CIGFLUENCERS: 7-Eleven is goated
INTERVIEW: To bum or not to bum?
CIGFLUENCERS: Bumming, like cigfluencing, is only cool if you’re hot. Pretty privilege is no joke.
INTERVIEW: Describe your private browsing persona in three words.
CIGFLUENCERS: Stupid. Questionable. NSFW.
INTERVIEW: What’s a website everyone should know about?
CIGFLUENCERS: Perfectlyimperfect.fyi. I think “recommendation culture” has gotten a bit out of hand, but Perfectly Imperfect continues to land some really cool guest contributors every week. I mean…Anna Delvey, Charli XCX, and Lena Dunham. Also my dream blunt rotation.
INTERVIEW: How many unread text messages do you have?
CIGFLUENCERS: Zero. But have I responded to all of my texts? Probably not
INTERVIEW: Read receipts: on or off?
CIGFLUENCERS: Off 1000%. Anyone who has them on is psychotic if you ask me…
INTERVIEW: Can you describe your most incriminating accidental email/text?
CIGFLUENCERS: I don’t think I have one, to be honest! I am very careful about what I blast off into other people’s inboxes…
INTERVIEW: Choose one: money or clout.
CIGFLUENCERS: As a wise man once said, “Get your money up, not your funny up!”
INTERVIEW: Print or digital?
CIGFLUENCERS: Absolutely print. Things look cool on your computer, but they look even cooler when you can hold them in your hand. Tangible things and experiences are important!
INTERVIEW: Is vaping a sin?
CIGFLUENCERS: 100%. Unless you’re hot (again) or a cool celebrity who used to smoke cigs. Then it’s ok
INTERVIEW: What’s your password?