Nation facing a Gumergency: new survey finds bad breath situations rampant across the country

Posted: 30 September 2013 | Mars | No comments yet

96% of Canadians who chew gum have experienced someone with bad breath…

A new survey has found that 96% of Canadians who chew gum have experienced someone with bad breath at home, work or in a variety of other situations when fresh breath matters most.

An EXCEL® Gum survey of more than 900 Canadians found that three quarters (75%) of them have dealt with co-workers with bad breath, half (51%) have been up close and personal with a spouse with bad breath and nearly half have endured bad breath while on public transit (49%) or when getting customer service (46%).

Breath of Intervention

The survey found some uniquely Canadian methods for handling bad breath situations. In stereotypically polite fashion the most popular strategy among respondents for handling someone with bad breath was to say or do nothing, except for the six in 10 (59%) who have gone out on a limb and confronted a spouse about it.

While Canadians are most likely to simply put up with someone else’s bad breath, offering gum was the next most popular approach, specifically when dealing with a spouse, a co-worker or superior, and even while on a job interview.

When asked what they might do if given additional options for handling someone with bad breath, 20% of respondents said they would choose an obvious but polite gesture like giving the person a free pack of gum, 11% still would opt for a less impersonal touch and would send them an unidentified note and 7% would choose to report them to an anonymous bad breath hotline if they could.

My Own Private Gumergency

While survey respondents offered insights into how they have handled others with bad breath, nine in 10 (92%) also admit to having dealt with their own personal Gumergencies – common bad breath situations where they needed gum, but did not have any on hand.

Gumergencies were most often breath related and brought on by eating food or drinking coffee:

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents have experienced a Gumergency after eating something that gave them bad breath.

More than a quarter (27%) of respondents have had a coffee-related Gumergency.

One in five (20%) respondents have had a Gumergency before or during a date.

One third (33%) have experienced a Gumergency during an airplane landing, when they needed their ears to clear.

“It’s not much fun having to deal with a bad breath emergency, whether it’s someone else’s or your own,” says Laura Amantea, Wrigley Marketing Manager. “To add a lighter side to these often awkward situations we’ve set up a Gumergency hotline, 1-855-EXCEL-IT, to give Canadians ideas for managing some of these bad breath moments – at home, in an elevator, at work and everywhere in between.”

Canadians can call the Gumergency hotline, and receive tips from an operator to help them combat a bad breathe issue they are facing. Excel is looking to help Canadians fight Gumergency situations everywhere.

Kiss and Chew

Outside of situations where they were caught without gum, Canadians surveyed claim to be attached to their gum to the point of not wanting to part with it in some very interesting situations. For example:

A quarter of respondents said they’ve chewed gum while having sex. Men (30 per cent) were much more likely than women (20%) to admit to this.

Half of respondents (50%) admit to chewing gum while kissing someone.

Nearly a quarter (23%) have chewed gum while eating.

7% of those surveyed admit to chewing gum during a job interview.

About the Survey

From September 3 to September 8, 2013, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 983 Canadian adults that chew gum, and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/-3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by region according to the most recent census data.


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