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Is the vilification of smokers a good thing or a bad thing?

Especially in the United States, smokers are vilified as second-hand killers. Through smokers actions, people every year die from second hand smoker. People who smoke are stigmatized in the US.

In the United States, this has lead to laws preventing smokers from smoking in public areas. It should also reduce the number of people who smoke in future generations.

In Europe, where there is not a stigma attached to smoking, I probably inhale the equivalent of 1 cigarette a week in the form of second hand smoke. In the US, I would probably catch a faint whiff of cigarette smoke once a month. The thing is, in Germany, the same number of cigarettes are consumed per person as in the United states. The stigmas and the rules about smoking in the US prevent people from smoking in public locations. This is good for the health of non-smokers.

I know people say that this is just another way to hurt poor, working class citizens as that is the demographic that generally smokes. I did not know before reading articles on this subject that that population is the population that smoked.
I also recognize that a lot of smokers try to quit.

So is this stigma associated with smoking a bad thing on a whole? What are your opinions?

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    Jul 8 2013: just to comment on how sweet the eu is, here is the hungarian situation:

    * no smoking in any workplaces
    * no smoking in any public buildings, including hospitals, theaters, bars, restaurants, shopping malls, dance clubs, etc.
    * no smoking on any mass transit
    * no smoking in bus stations, tram stations
    * you can't sell tobacco in any form. only dedicated tobacco shops can, licence granted by the government
    * you can not advertise tobacco anywhere, anyhow. not even in said tobacco shops
    * usual obligatory scare away captions and pictures on the boxes
    * it is forbidden to call your product "light" or anything suggesting it is less harmful
    * tobacco products are taxed at 80%. i mean 20% goes to the manufacturer/retailer and 80% to the government.
    * e-cigarette liquid is banned with the loophole that you can buy for yourself from abroad

    still feeling vilified there?
    • Jul 13 2013: Hungarians show sense. Australia becoming same as you. Cigarettes only sold in brown paper packs no fancy Marlborough Man on the front or colour writing, just brown paper and black ink. Uncool.

      Our Government is putting the price of smokes up all the time...must be about $100 for a carton now which would be l/4 of a pension. The kinda money poor people/pensioners should not be spending this way !

      Government now banning smoking in Alfresco dining areas too.

      Yes about time a family member is in a wheelchair which cannot climb the step/s to go inside away from smokers so soon she will be able to partake of Alfresco dining.

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