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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: My dad smoked between one to two packs of cigarettes a day. When I was growing up I had asthma, which unknown to me was caused by his smoking. After I moved away for school my asthma disappeared. My dad died a very painful death by cancer, something I dont wish anyone to go through. I dont have asthma anymore, except when being long enough around smokers. Reading the comments I can only agree to the following points:
    - Really, the main culprit is the tobacco companies.
    - Keeping smokers away from public areas is good, if at all for public health.
    - Stigmatizing smoking is also good, there should be awareness that they are endangering their health and the health of the people around them.

    Having said that, I do have several friends that smoke, and that I know they know it is not good. Some of them even have siblings who have died of Cancer. I do sympathize with them and wish them well. I really hope that they will not go through a painful illness like Cancer. And I find it good that they all know that it is NOT OK to smoke. If they decide to keep doing it, it is their choice
    • Jul 13 2013: "Cancer" is just a thing. It is not God, it is not a human being. The word "cancer" NEVER needs to be capitalized. It's just silly and superstitious to constantly capitalize "cancer".
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        Jul 13 2013: Bryan, The day you get cancer, you will write it as CANCER. God willing, that day will never come.

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