Burst the Bubble…

sb10069449k-001Chew on this…

Gum sales are down 11% over the past four years. I, for one, am thrilled.

I think gum chewing is right up there with public displays of nose picking, finger ear cleaning and ball adjustments.

I do not remember every going to see live theater and not having a woman loudly gnawing on a wad of gum, cracking, snapping, chewing with an open mouth. It’s hard to hear the dialog over all the oral noise pollution.

I will step over the line and implore obnoxious offenders from Long Island’s 5 towns to spit the gum out before theater…you know who you are.


If you have to chew, then dispose of it properly. It is not a recyclable booger…remove the gum from your mouth and flick it in the garbage, not the sidewalk. Stepping on gum and dog poop are analogous…actually, poop is easier to get off your shoes.

Chewing gum, as we know it today, serves much the same purpose as it did for the ancient Greeks chewing on Mastiha gum or the Mayans with their chicle. It freshens the breath, tastes good, can potentially quell anxiety, but in terms of what you’re actually putting in your mouth, all similarities with traditional gums end there.

Modern gums consist of entirely synthetic petrol-based polymers and a host of synthetic sweeteners and stabilizers. Chewing gum presents a huge problem for disposal.

NYC Gum Encrusted Sidewalk

 Modern synthetic chewing gums don’t dissolve in water and have polymers that bind easily to asphalt, making removal of black wads from pavements a costly, time-consuming exercise. Current methods include blasting dried chewing gum with corrosive chemicals, freezing or steaming it off.


In London alone, the city spends over $4,000,000, to remove gum from pavements, subway trains, and stations . In an attempt to alleviate littering problem, officials in Singapore placed a partial ban on the import and sale of chewing gum.

The ban is brilliant and beneficial. You can eat off of the sidewalks and subway floors in Singapore and that’s coming from a person who even lines the toilet in friends and relatives bathrooms.

I am appalled by how many public figures chew openly, even President Obama was caught recently.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears

If you want to freshen your breath, chew your wad briefly…the flavor runs out quickly…dispose of properly. Or, if you want to try something different that guarantees fresh breath, improved gums and brightens teeth, invest in oil pulling with organic coconut oil…just don’t swallow.

If cells and smoking  are banned in theaters then gum should be, as well. I rather hold my breath in defense of halitosis then hear someone cracking their gum during expensive Broadway shows…chew on that.



  1. Good one, Toby. I share your feelings on this topic.

  2. Good one, Toby. I share your opinion on this 100%.

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