General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Why does everyone vilify smokers?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21483points) February 18th, 2009

I realize that smoking is bad for you, but there are a lot of things that people do that is bad for them and people around them, so why do people vilify smokers so much? There aren’t ads on TV to get people to stop drinking alcohol and people who smoke excessive amounts of pot think that cigarettes are disgusting. Why is this?

For the record, I am expecting a lot of backlash and nasty comments but I am still curious as to why everyone thinks it’s all right to hate this group of people.

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44 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I don’t villify smokers.

I avoid them.

Beyond that, people can do whatever they want with their lungs, IMO.

Blondesjon's avatar

I quit two years ago. I hope to never smoke again. Do I believe in your right to smoke? Yes I do.

You are vilified because that makes you ashamed. If you feel ashamed of what you do you won’t be vocal about it. If you are not vocal about it it’s easier to take yet another personal freedom away from you.

Smoke until you want to quit and never let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do with your own body.

Allie's avatar

Mmm… my guess is secondhand smoke. That’s just one reason.

KingMalefic's avatar

I am a somebody too!! where did I leave that body?

KingMalefic's avatar

@Allie : Define second hand smoke. I have had this conversation many ah times and have come to a conclusion but am curious.

tennesseejac's avatar

I dont like smelling like cigarette smoke when I leave a bar,
I hate seeing cigarette butts littered all over mother earth,
and people at my work get special smoke breaks just because they are addicted to these cancer sticks (and I dont get a break for my addictions)

I dont care what others do as long as it does not negatively affect me

cak's avatar

I don’t like smoke, I don’t like the smell, but I don’t hate smokers.

I didn’t date people that smoked, my husband doesn’t – but that’s a choice I made – so did he. My sister is a smoker, half my family (aunts and uncles) are smokers – I love them. I only have one or two friends that smoke, but so rarely, it’s never around me.

I try not to expose myself to smoke – that whole secondhand smoke bothers me, but it’s not something you can always avoid.

I’m not a huge junk food eater, but I love buffalo wings. I know how they are made. They are a heart attack waiting to happen. Until I’m perfect, I won’t vilify someone else for their vice.

KingMalefic's avatar

@tennesseejac : before i ever picked up a cancer stick i would say i was taking a “smoke break” because i could.

its kinda of odd if i am not now in the act i can’t be or have never been able to be around smokers hurts my eyes and causes other issues. But i have found if involved it doesn’t bother me much.

This is not to say i want to join in now when i see someone light up or something has changed for i have stopped for a time. I completely understand not wanting to be around someone who smokes for various reasons but to scrutinize and ridicule or vilify I do to many bad things as is. to each there own.

shamroch's avatar

Yeah, there are just a lot of unattractive qualities about smoking.

First, it’s dangerous for those around you. This includes loved ones and strangers. Second hand smoke is harmful, so people are reproachful.

Second, the smell really gets to a lot of people. People don’t like it around smoking areas, but it can be hard to deal with even when you are just in close proximity with a smoker, if you are really averse to it. Working out can positively impact your health, but people still don’t like folks who just walk around with body odor. People react negatively to the smell of alcohol too. There is no demographic on earth that just walks around reeking that distinctly all day long. There are individuals, but no other demographic. I mean, maybe homeless people, but then the stench is more varied and less distinct.

Third, smokers often cause inconvenience to those around them. Smoke breaks slow down everything, and they can get quite frequent depending on who you are dealing with. Constantly having to wait for someone to smoke can be irritating, especially since there is rarely a way for them to repay the favor.

Fourth, smoking is considered dirty. This is for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the smell. Also, all of the anti-tobacco propaganda (especially that in schools) focuses on the tar and nasty that builds up in your chest. Because of this image, many consider smokers dirty as well.

Fifth, no one else gets to/has to live by their vices quite as strictly. Drinkers have to keep their drinking to nights and weekends. Same with pot smokers. Cigarette smokers not only want to smoke every hour or so, they expect to.

Sixth, cigarette smokers are often self-righteous. This one is unfortunate, because it is a direct response to the way they are treated. However, all of the pressure has made a lot of smokers into self-righteous douche bags who are always on a rant about how their “right” to smoke has been abridged.

These are just a few. I mean, I hang out with plenty of smokers, so I don’t adhere to most of these. You asked why people are rude though, and that would be my guess as to why.

ark_a_dong's avatar

“There aren’t ads on TV to get people to stop drinking alcohol”

Alcohol is a mind-altering drug that is socially acceptable in today’s age, whereas smoking, although a drug, is pretty much just a path to early death. I mean really, it’s probably the shittiest drug ever.

“and people who smoke excessive amounts of pot think that cigarettes are disgusting”

There are a lot of different sources on the internet that contradict each other regarding marijuana and cancer, but I’m thoroughly convinced that it does NOT cause cancer, due to the simple fact that pot has never killed anyone.

Also, excessive pot smokers like to point out that marijuana is natural, despite the fact that the most common way of using it is by smoking.

Hobbes's avatar

@shamroch – I agree that abrasive people of any stripe are annoying, but the fact that some smokers are abrasive about their “right to smoke” doesn’t excuse those who are equally so about how smokers are “dirty”.

Granted, if smokers are forcing others to breathe secondhand smoke, they should put it out or move, but if it wouldn’t take much effort to simply move away from the smoke, why berate someone over it?

@ark_a_dong – Alchohol does cause liver failure if consumed regularly, though, and is a pretty significant factor in automobile accidents and often a spark for violent behavior. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t drink, mind, just that it, like everything, has its dangers.

From what I’ve learned, inhaling smoke of any sort raises your chances of getting lung cancer. This doesn’t become much of an issue, however, until the ammount of smoke inhalation gets very large (as with the sorts of smokers who go through a pack a day).

ark_a_dong's avatar

@Hobbes Yes, but I was speaking more to the fact that cigarettes have no value in that you don’t get high, drunk, or anything.

shamroch's avatar


I’m not justifying it. I’m explaining it as best I understand it. Most times I see people get mad at smokers is when they are by doors or indoors.


I smoke every now and then, and it relaxes the shit out of me.

Hobbes's avatar

Well, you do actually get a buzz if you’re an infrequent smoker. Cigarettes tend to improve concentration and alertness at first, but after a while, you need them just to get back to normal.

@Shamroch – My mistake, sorry!

ark_a_dong's avatar

@shamroch But, it didn’t relax you when you first started, did it? And doesn’t it just relax you because you’re addicted, and each time you smoke, you fulfill your desire? Or am I dumb, and missing something about nicotine..

mcbealer's avatar

I think it’s because for so many years, people smoked whenever-wherever. Growing up I remember thinking how awful it was to have to breathe second hand smoke. I think there should be parameters set up as far as smoking zones, etc. It sickens me though when I read about people suing their neighbors because their neighbor smokes outside on their own patio and the second hand smoke wafts over.

Allie's avatar

@KingMalefic The kind of smoking where someone is near you, but not smoking a cigarette themselves.
@mcbealer To me, that sounds like a lame lawsuit. Just my opinion.

augustlan's avatar

@mcbealer Sickens you because people are smoking on their patios or because people are suing them for it?

blastfamy's avatar

Smoking = Yucky

Problem solved…

shamroch's avatar

@ark_a_dong I mean, I smoke a few cigarettes in a weekend, probably every three months. When I travel, I tend to smoke a few to help me sleep. So I’m hardly addicted. I’m in the stage where it still feels good. You do that for a while, and then it stops. Then, you’re addicted.

ark_a_dong's avatar

@shamroch Oh, I see. So you get head rushes. Yeah, my stance still holds strong that nicotine is the shittiest drug ever.

Hobbes's avatar

I will agree with you there. The main draw for me is the social aspect of smoking, but in terms of its actual effects, there’s really no reason to do it, especially when compared to other drugs.

mcbealer's avatar

@augustlan ~ it sickens me that someone out there is being sued for smoking in their own backyard.
It’s BS.

augustlan's avatar

@mcbealer Whew. I was worried for a minute, there ;)

mcbealer's avatar

@augustlan ~ yeah, no kidding!

KingMalefic's avatar

@Allie : Thank you I love you more…

….and for any who might have breathed in my un twice filtered smoke I am sorry.

Allie's avatar

@KingMalefic Ha, what do other people think it means?

KingMalefic's avatar

@Allie : I have been told that the smoke i breathe in thru the filter which is then filtered thru my lungs is the second hand smoke thats killing them.

essieness's avatar

I’ve just been reading all your responses… @KingMalefic hahahaha.

tennesseejac's avatar

@ark_a_dong I agree that nicotine is the worst drug ever. It makes no sense to me, but Im not one of the millions of people addicted to this shitty drug.

They are expensive,
they make your teeth yellow,
they cause LOTS of litter,
they make a bunch of douchebags lots of money,
they dont get you high,
they kill millions of people
and they make your breath stink.

Allie's avatar

@KingMalefic That’s odd. You should cough and breathe all over them just for shits and giggles. I’m kidding.

KingMalefic's avatar

@allie : i do that when i sneeze.. i mean its infamous just as Asmonet, hehe

KingMalefic's avatar

@essieness : Umm just in this thread or overall… :-) cause umm yeah hehe..

do i have a stalker finally woot! :-)

KingMalefic's avatar

@allie :shit i owe you stories don’t let me forget you can beat porn shops 5 giuys a cornell student and 1590 on the sats all in a single story its epic. not to mention the 15 inch black dildo…. and the smoking… wow that kinda sounds all gay… damn

Allie's avatar

@KingMalefic HAHAHA! PM it to me. This should be good.

KingMalefic's avatar

@allie : usually i am only asked to cough and breathe during a physical… at a bar if i drop my pants i might get kicked out….

or end up on the bar table

Hobbes's avatar

I don’t think this story should be confined to the PMs. Such a tale must be shared with the world!

KingMalefic's avatar

@allie : k but i might have to do a video blog or youtube it cause really theres so much in the expression timinng and words that make it great.

KingMalefic's avatar

i can’t find the home keys with ease .. 0.o

Allie's avatar

@Hobbes You might be right.
@KingMalefic =] I’m sure it does. I’m looking forward to laughs. You can post it on the Fluther Vimeo page!
…but right now I need sleep.

KingMalefic's avatar

@allie : yeah i am off to sleep to..

the crap is in reference to me ctrl v when i meant to ctrl c and lost all I had written.

but yes i will try and capture whether in written or visual auditory form the story i speak of and well since hobbes pipped in your welcome to it…. johnny is gonna kill me hahaha

shit now i gotta preform well—wheres the hole again?

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t smoke or drink, but I always wonder why smoking is portrayed as a killer and alcohol is not or at least no where near the same degree as smoking. Statistically alcohol is involved in a very high percentage of police call outs for violent crimes and auto accidents. Many more people end up in emergency rooms and hospital wards because of alcohol. I guess second hand smoke is a worry, but in this polluted world, is it worse than breathing in NYC. And I always think no one ever smoked a pack of cigarettes, then jumped in their car and killed or maimed some innocent person. I don’t like the smell of stale smoke or stale beer and I really can’t stand the smell of either on someone’s breath!

essieness's avatar

@KingMalefic In this thread… so far. But you ARE cracking me up, so I’ll be looking out for ya, ha!

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