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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: whatever it is, it's definitely hypocritical. regardless of the status of other drugs like cannabis and alcohol, the concept of "second-hand smoke" is ludicrous. considering exhaust fumes, pollution and all the chemicals in the food we eat, it's obvious that smokers get picked on.

    i don't believe that "second-hand smoke" is a real thing, and if it is, i'm not sure why all the other contaminants people breathe on a daily basis are ignored.

    ultimately, i find it something of a joke. the way i see it, if a person doesn't like smoky environments, they should exercise their right to leave.

    allow the owners of the premises to make the call on smoking or non-smoking and leave it at that. all the non-smokers can stay at home zipped up in their oxygen tents avoiding life in an attempt not to die..
    • Jul 9 2013: The concept of second hand smoke is very real. Just because there are many things in life that are dangerous does not mean we should not attempt to fix any of them!

      I have asthma, and about 20% of the population have some form of lung disease. I can tell you that even a SMALL amount of cigarette smoke could send me into a life threatening attack.

      To try and argue against smoking bans by discussing something else is avoiding the issue. The issue is not whether there is other pollution, and not even what is worse, it's about the fact that second hand smoke kills thousands of people every year.

      You say I can leave.... it's ill advised to blame the victim. And for the record- as I sit in my apartment smoke drifts in from my neighbors. When I leave the house I can get about 20 feet before I'm exposed to second hand smoke. It would be literally IMPOSSIBLE for me to get to work, appointments etc in my city without breathing in second hand smoke.

      There is NO safe level of SHS. Ask any child with asthma or cystic fibrosis if it's fair that they have to chose between not leaving the house or ending up either in the hospital or ill for days.
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        Jul 9 2013: children with asthma or cystic fibrosis should not be in bars
        • Jul 10 2013: What about walking on the streets? You say that the people who do not smoke should stay in their houses with oxygen tanks so as not to encounter second hand smoke.

          Why should the health conscious people who do nothing wrong have negative repercussions for other peoples vices?
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        Jul 10 2013: I was being humourous to make my point. It's a little facetious, I know, but it also highlights the utmost seriousness with which some people approach life, in particular anti-smoking crusaders.

        Be sure to hold your breath as each car drives past while you are out walking the "smoke-free" streets. Also, we should destroy all pollen-making plants to better cater for people with breathing-related disorders. Why should an asthmatic have to put up with irritants from the flowers I send my mum on her birthday?

        Health conscious people don't have to put up with the negative effects of other peoples' choices. As I said in a previous post, they can exercise the right to move themselves to a smoke-free environment.

        I mean, it's not like it has been legislated that a non-smoker must stay in a smoky environment. That would be like encroaching on someone's rights..
        • Jul 10 2013: Did you actually read my post?

          While sitting in my apartment SHS drifts in through windows and doors. I can not use my balcony.

          When I leave the house it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to go more than 20 feet without being exposed to SHS. Often there are people smoking in fornt of doors. How exactly do you expect me to leave my building or go into another building without being exposed? If I walk the bus stop.... more smokers there. Smoke TRAVELS up to 9 metres from the source. So it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to avoid it. Hence, smokers are FORCING smoke on people who it hurts.

          FYI: after smoking bans were passed in numerous cities and countries hospitalizations for children with asthma/CF declined by double digits. Hospitalizations for heart conditions dropped by over 30%!

          Like I said, you cant argue for something by trying to claim if one can't avoid ALL triggers they shouldn't avoid any. That's a ridiculous argument. Plus- car fumes, plants etc. didn't change when those bans were in place and hospitalizations nose dived. I can NOT buy flowers and as someone with asthma I can tell you that they ONLY time car exhaust has ever caused me harm was when I was living in Mexico, where there are no regulations andI was biking on the road next to them. Never had a problem in US or Canada. Look at the research.... cigarettes produce multiple times the dangerous chemicals then exhaust.
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        Jul 10 2013: I sure did. We are talking past each other.

        Keep selecting statistics if it helps you come to terms with this tough old world.

        Life kills you when you live it and it does even if you don't.

        Have a smoke-free day.
        • Jul 10 2013: You're right...I guess the thousands of studies by thousands of researches from hundreds of countries are all false?

          There is no point arguing with someone who refuses to acknowledge what over 80% of the population already knows
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        Jul 10 2013: we are "arguing" different points, Jennifer.

        smoking is banned in many places in many countries so I'm not sure what more anti-smoking crusaders want. i found it ironic that, in NZ, when they banned smoking in pubs, all the smokers were forced out on to the street to puff in the faces of families walking past. wouldn't it be sensible to keep smokers in bars where children and families do not usually go?

        I'm not convinced that what is coming through your balcony window is only second hand smoke so that particular argument sounds more emotive than factual.

        Please be wary of statistics. They are not absolute truths coming from the altruistic towers of humanity. Often they are skewed for a purpose and more often, they are inaccurate, simplistic, invalid and derived.

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