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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 13 2013: NO! Acknowledging and obviously letting people know this stuff is bad is fine, but so long as it is legal, you can't judge someone. However, this is something that with knowledge comes self-judgment, so vilification is not nice, but acceptance whenever and wherever is not okay too, as we've legally enforced.

    I agree with one of the other comments that putting someone or something down so much will only result in a negative response - kind of like relating the, I think it may be Buddhist, idea that you can only overcome fear or hatred with love.
    • Jul 13 2013: You can always judge someone, but making a judgement on just one fact is plain dumb.
      Tolerating it means more people will do it. Tolerating stupid ads linking smoking to status or success is even worse.

      There's a difference between villification, as in labeling people as evil because of one thing, and no tolerance to the costs incurred on all of us by the smokers. Applying pressure on smokers to quit is not the same as villifying them.

      Smoking is also a dumb thing and should be seen as such. Not judging the fact of smoking is tantamount to accepting it or ignoring the detrimental effects. The only smart smokers are those really trying to quit this addiction.

      Unlike some other addictions, this one even has a cost to the nearby environment and people.
      • Jul 13 2013: "Tolerating it means more people will do it"--odd, that's what I hear hardcore fundamentalist religionists say about homosexuality, too...
        • Jul 13 2013: Unlike smoking, sexual orientation is immutable and does not harm anyone.

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