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to genuinely not understand why smoking is vilified

(257 Posts)
Redpipe Mon 14-Oct-13 12:41:28

and yet drinking, overeating and other addictions that cost the NHS huge sums of money are not?

AIBU to genuinely not understand why it is just smokers in this country that are socially unaccepted?

PlatinumStart Mon 14-Oct-13 13:33:07

Er you haven't thought this through have you?

M0reC0ffee Mon 14-Oct-13 13:36:53

I think it's still surprisingly accepted and tolerated. I think the opposite. Considering it is toxic, addictive, and costs health boards around the World billions, it is still not exactly a traffic-stopping sight, to see people smoking, even teachers near the school!! that' s just an example. nurses outside the hospital. people outside offices and restaurants. Nobody bats an eyelid

Redpipe Mon 14-Oct-13 13:47:37


er ...yes I have.

People making analogies to people not blowing food at them is just silly. Overeating and alcohol affects us all in different ways to smoking but it does affect us all.

Just one example. A father who regularly drinks over his alcohol units and is over weight and does no exercise has an increased chance of leaving his kids fatherless through stroke and the like. He is unlikely to get vilified in the same way a smoking father would though even if the father never smoked around his children.

And that's before even touching on the amount of abusive relationships where the abuse is alcohol driven.

If we were a country of moderate drinkers I would agree with the arguments that smoking affects third parties to a greater degree than alcohol. However, I think we are not a country of moderate drinkers and alcohol has far and wide negative implications for third parties.

monicalewinski Mon 14-Oct-13 13:48:27

they stink and thats the best thing you can say about smokers


Really roadwalker??

I know quite a few smokers and I can think of lots of much nicer and better things to say about them.

Goldmandra Mon 14-Oct-13 13:54:02

Alcohol is tolerated in this culture but not in all. For the vast majority alcohol is not harmful, nor does it adversely affect others indirectly.

Eating is a necessity. Over-eating does cost the NHS money but it isn't possible to give up eating and avoid the temptation. Again, for the vast majority of eaters their habit is not harmful and does not adversely affect others.

The vast majority of smoking does have an adverse effect on others, even outdoors and it is always immediately harmful to the smoker. It also isn't an extension of a process we need to engage in in order to stay alive.

The less socially acceptable it becomes the better for all concerned. That applies to overuse of alcohol too of course. Drink driving happens less often now, partly because those who do it meet open disapproval.

Obviously other addictions are vilified and drug addicts are very much social outcasts once their addiction is apparent to others.

Kewcumber Mon 14-Oct-13 13:54:02

if you think people who are morbidly obese or who binge drink don't get comments about their size/drinking then you're living in a different country to me.

Crinkle77 Mon 14-Oct-13 13:54:10

Someone drinking next to you could have health implications particularly if they turn aggressive or violent.

DeWe Mon 14-Oct-13 13:59:13

I wonder whether we will find smoking dies out much more as our children grow up.
I know we knew it was addictive and could give you cancer etc. but it was much more accepted. I used to buy my grandad's cigarettes from age of about 8yo, with the age restriction at 16yo. The staff room would often billlow with smoke when you opened the door, you'd have people smoking in restaurants next to you, at children's attractions etc.
Then it was a frequently mentioned in children's books-villains often smoked "smelly" cigarettes, or cigars if they were an upperclass sort of villain.
If you read "Blue Door Theatre" the main "nice" children in there are smoking-I think as a plot device to show that they're older, but it's totally presented as "of course they all lit up".

Now I can go for weeks not seeing anyone smoking.

And I think it must be talked about at school. I've never really talked to the dc about it, but we came out of the shops the other day and ds (age 6yo) saw a group smoking and he said. "Do they not know that will kill them? Should we tell them?" I told him that they probably knew and he looked at me shock and said "You mean people choose to smell nasty and die earlier?!?"

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 14-Oct-13 14:01:43

I'm slightly on the fence. Living next door to smokers (as I do, in an apartment building) is more annoying than living next door to people who eat too much (no impact) or drink alcohol because their food and drink does not waft through my air vents. Only a minority of people who drink alcohol are also violent/ abusive. Many people who drink have absolutely no impact on other people at all. However, it is hard to smoke in public and not impact other people.

Also, there's the fact that you can eat and drink in moderation, but you cant really smoke in moderation so these things are not directly comparable.

However, all that aside, I think people do go OTT about smoking. Currently, people in my building are trying to petition management to ban smoking in the communal garden because there might be children playing there. Well, so long as the smokers aren't blowing the smoke in the kid's faces, let them have a cigarette in peace FFS. It's legal, and should continue to be so IMO (as a non-smoker)

fluffyraggies Mon 14-Oct-13 14:02:13

I don't understand why people question why one thing is thought of as bad when they can think of other bad things.

Why do we hate smoking when we could be hating alcohol and over eating ..... confused Who are all these people condoning drink driving, alcohol related DV and eating disorders while 'vilifying' smokers then?

It's like saying ... why are we doing things about cruelty to animals while there is things still to be done about cruelty to children? It is possible to do things about both!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 14-Oct-13 14:04:00

Also, the increase in obesity and the reduction in adults who smoke are not entirely unconnected. The grim reaper's gonna get you somehow grin

So the overweight drinker dad might die young. But the parent who smokes round other people DOES force them to inhale the exhaled smoke (which is more heavily laden with toxins than the smoke the smoker inhales, or so I have been told), and to go home stinking of cigarette smoke.

It is this immediate impact of even one cigarette that is so much more unacceptable than the potential, future impact of one drink or mars bar that makes smoking such a vilified activity.

And I would disagree with your basic premise - that smokers are vilified far moe than people who,are heavy drinkers/alcoholics - there have been a number of programmes showing the chaos and disruption caused by binge drinking, and it's impact on the emergency services - so where are all the reality tv programmes showing the effects of smoking?

Heavy/binge drinking is heavily vilified in the press and the media.

Davsmum Mon 14-Oct-13 14:10:28

Smoking CAN kill the smoker. It doesn't kill ALL smokers.
It doesn't kill ALL bystanders either.

Its best not to smoke - for everyone's sake.

However, alcohol kills many people, directly, and also indirectly when a drunken idiot decides to fight people or mow them down in their car.

These days I don't often see anyone smoking around non smokers. Non smokers seem to be quite safe now since they banned smoking indoors. You can ban people smoking in your house too - so you are most at risk if you decide to go into a smoker's house who choose to smoke in their own home.

Redpipe Mon 14-Oct-13 14:14:41

I don't think binge drinking is vilified in the main. I think a lot of people in this country think it's hilarious. I would say most high streets at the weekend are full of people over indulging leading to all manner of problems and costs to society.

ivykaty44 Mon 14-Oct-13 14:26:23

YANBU Op along with smoking being very harmful so are a lot of other things but these others things seem to be ignored and they should not be ignored.

I would like to see eating and smoking in the street banned, I would like to see drunks being charged for being drunk and dissordely and fined large sums of money

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 14-Oct-13 14:41:58

I spent years having to wash my hair and all my clothes following a night out somewhere smokey.

even if it was not harmful, it would still be an unsocial habit.

pianodoodle Mon 14-Oct-13 14:46:43

I completely understand why tobacco is vilified it is dangerous.

I don't like the way people who are addicted to it are vilified though when most others with an addiction would receive patience and help.

There is support but at the same time there is support for people watching their weight too, and they don't expect to be subjected to comments like being told they are pathetic or disgusting.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 14-Oct-13 14:49:08

The next stage will be that we have to eat chocolate fudge cake outside in the cold. I can totally see that happening. sad

ivykaty44 Mon 14-Oct-13 14:50:13

I wouldn't want to be a paramedic or nurse in a&e having to deal with drunks and druggies abusing and attacking staff, it is unsociable and a disgrace

PipkinsPal Mon 14-Oct-13 14:51:13

Smokers stink. I don't want someone talking to me just after they have had a fag and having to smell their fag breath. Smoking killed my Uncle at the age of 44, he had throat cancer. It gives them revolting teeth, stained fingers, cataracts, bad skin, it yellows white hair and gets ingrained in carpets and wallpaper. They litter everywhere with their used fag butts and children of smokers usually end up as smokers themselves. I'm glad they have to go outside in the freezing cold and pissing rain to feed their addiction but I wish they wouldn't hog the beer gardens on a lovely summer evening puffing away and making it unpleasant for non-smokers.

ovenbun Mon 14-Oct-13 14:53:59

Davs mum but it does kill one in every two smokers...which is pretty bad odds..

I think all those habits do get condemned but the thing is although alcohol and overeating do cause harm to self/others sometimes, smoking harms at least yourself, every time.

you can have a few units of alcohol without doing your body damage, and the occaisional food binge...but one little cigarette and you're filling your lungs poisonous chemicals...inhaling tar, killing alveoli..etc etc

Although alcohol related aggression/violence etc does harm people not everyone who drinks next to you will harm you, where someone smoking next to you does cause you direct might not be long term or noticeable harm, but you will be inhaling poisionous chemicals which will cause direct damage.

I cant believe anywhere sells the stuff anymore now that we know what it does to us, but thats the power of money I guess.

Also for those who smoke outside, away from people, if you're not changing your clothes and having a shower after every cig, your hair, skin and clothing are wafting around little doses of the lovely poision to all those who come into contact with you, which isn't great...

After watching my nan drown in her own lungs from a smoking related cause, I feel pretty angry with the whole thing...not that you'd notice of course smile

friday16 Mon 14-Oct-13 14:54:23

Smoking's great for the economy. People pay a large amount of extra tax while living up until around the time they stop paying national insurance, at which point they die relatively cheaply before they manage to collect much of their pension.

Secondary smoking's health effects are contested, and in any event smokers are now so restricted in where they can smoke that I don't think I've actually seen anyone actually holding a cigarette in their hand, never mind smelt their foul emissions, in weeks. So all that money's collected, and saved, without affecting me in the slightest.

The NHS makes a massive profit on smoking, and would do so even if it wasn't taxed: dying of smoking related illnesses is cheap compared to the diseases of old age, and particular now we have stenting even such treatment as is available is cheap too.

The economic case would be better if smokers could be encouraged to smoke dirtier, higher tar cigarettes, but as things stand, they're paying money into the tax system in order to die young and cheap. What's not to like?

ivykaty44 Mon 14-Oct-13 14:58:36

So if you took yourself to a&e and you were told that there is a queue for three hours and two hours of that queue is due to staff having to deal with drunks - would you all be happy?

I would rather the drunks were not there and I only had to wait an hour

tbh if the people want to smoke outside a&e and i have to walk through a smoke screen to get in that would be less annoying than drinks making the queue three times as long

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Mon 14-Oct-13 15:00:05

What's not to like?

the smell and rubbish. is that difficult to understand?

wordfactory Mon 14-Oct-13 15:01:24

I think the difference with smokers is that if they smoke in public every fag is pretty unpleasant for non smokers.

Whereas most alcohol consumption in public, for example, will have little impact upon those around.

And let's be honest, without the vilification of smoking and the ban, many many smokers would have merrily continued to smoke anywhere they were allowed regardless of the feelings of others.

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