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Is society trying to make us feel shame for smoking?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by lalabee21, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. lalabee21

    lalabee21 Active Contributor

    I don’t know about you, but I feel that about five or ten years ago the media and society in general are trying to make us feel guilty, as if smoking was a shameful thing. When you say you’re a smoker people look at you like if you are an alien. I feel guilty about liking cigarettes, I know they’re bad for me and really want to quit, but is smoking really a shameful thing?
    greybird29 and Damien Lee like this.
  2. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think even it is not a shameful thing, one should stop smoking. Smoking used to be something seen in the movies or shows as a classy thing to do or being done by the tough guys. What I think shameful about smoking is that those who smoke in the public and does not mind blowing the smoke in the face of others especially strangers and kids.
  3. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    It's a media agenda thing, I think. Popular opinion is swaying towards smoking as a bad thing - which I don't agree with - so depictions of smokers become correspondingly negative. Unfortunately that also means that, in general, anyone who smokes gets painted in a poor light, and becomes a victim of the campaign against nicotine. Seems to run the same way with most social causes.

    The old saying, I believe, is to hate the sin, not the sinner. Unfortunately, people are pretty damned good at doing both - and it's easy to do it that way, too, because smokers provide a human face that anti-smokers can target. It's a bad way to approach the problem.
    lalabee21 likes this.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    It wouldn't be such a bad thing if the media or society made smokers feel ashamed of their vice. If it was a media campaign to reduce smoking then it certainly did work because there are fewer young people smoking cigarettes these days. While I must admit that smoking isn't shameful, if society makes a smoker feel ashamed then it's all for the best. Negative motivation also works.
  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I've touched on this before on this forum, and your right, smokers these days are being looked down and judged, even if your not smoking but say you do smoke people look at you as if they're better than you.

    Smoking isn't illegal, and as long as you smoke away from public places, the only person your affecting is yourself. While giving up is the best option, and in no way am I defending smoking, I do think that people have jumped on the media bandwagon without thinking things through.

    I should be disgusted with myself because I smoke, but it's ok for you not to smoke, but drink 6 pints every night and kill yourself from alcohol related diseases instead? You see what I'm saying, smoking is an addiction just like any other, and being outcast doesn't help people stop.
  6. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Well, consider that in prior decades the opposite was true. Smoking was portrayed as the cool, sexy or macho thing to do in advertisements and movies. Fortunately, this change that has occurred over the past decade is a positive one. Smoking is definitely not cool or sexy. In fact, it's terrible for everyone's health, both smokers and non-smokers who happen to inhale second-hand smoke.
  7. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    I do also feel uncomfortable with how down some people look on us smokers, I mean am I not an adult? Are we not passed the ignorance, might not the person who smoke have a good reason?
  8. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I definitely think that society does shame smokers to a certain extent, especially when it comes to financial matters. People will often be criticised for spending money on cigarettes yet, as @pwarbi points out, the very same people who point the finger will spend £20 on alcohol on a night out and think this is perfectly acceptable.
  9. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I agree, smoking isn't anywhere near as socially acceptable as it was five years ago. Whatever they are doing, it seems to be working gradually. I hardly ever see anyone smoking in public these days whereas five years ago it was a regular and normal thing. When people smoke in public now, they do seem to get funny looks off people. Having said that, I do often see groups of people stood smoking outside pubs.
  10. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Smoking is not a shameful thing, but being addicted to it and not being able to function properly without it is. It just proves that you are a weak-willed individual who is prone to getting controlled by substances and lifeless objects (being controlled by a human is just as bad). It's not a nice thing that society tries to make smokers feel ashamed, as they have their own problems deep inside their soul and don't need this social pressure as well.
  11. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Depends on where you live, but in general smokers aren't necessarily looked down upon. I haven't seen a lot of people bashing smokers recently, maybe it's because they just don't care or they simply realized that everyone is different, we don't know for sure. If you really can't quit smoking don't feel bad about it, the society will judge you no matter what.
  12. greybird29

    greybird29 Active Contributor

    Last year we went to a Mets game in NY City and a few weeks ago we had a festival in our little town I went to enjoy the entertainment and festivities. While walking through the crowd at both I fired up a cigarette. Wow the degrading, belittling, disgusted, dirty, hatful looks I received were often over whelming. I made a point to avoid children; yet I felt awfully embarrassed, shame, humiliated and guilty for being a smoker. That is just the way it is in our society these days; gives us the desire to smoke privately.
  13. lalabee21

    lalabee21 Active Contributor

    I’m not really sure what to think about your post. Yes I smoke, and have trouble quitting, but I’m not sure that I’m weak and that I’m easily controlled by substances. Despite all the negative media around cigarettes I don’t truly feel ashamed for smoking, if I want to quit is only for health reasons and because I want to be here for my daughter.
    greybird29 likes this.
  14. pstrong1969

    pstrong1969 Community Champion

    Im a smoker and not ashamed to admit it. Ive quit worse habits so when im ready ill try and quit smoking. Society loves to point the finger at someones (sin) sin is a harsh word. Mistake in judgement. Whatever you want to call it. My point is when you point your finger at someone there is 3 pointing back. So be sure your back yard is cleaned up before you point. Judge not lest ye be judged yourself.
    greybird29 likes this.
  15. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    I think you are correct that the media is trying to make you feel guilty about it. I think that you get this feeling because ALL advertisements in relation to smoking are now ANTI-smoking. You won't see a Marlboro commercial on TV anymore.

    This is because the cigarette companies were held liable when they failed to fully inform customers of the dangers of smoking. They were made to feel bad for encouraging people to smoke.

    Additionally, several huge agencies have thrown millions into anti-smoking campaigns. The CDC, for example, spend $200 million on the "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign (

    In summary, all the mass media coverage of smoking is negative. This is why you feel it shames you.
  16. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Well, I can tell that I was ashamed of myself for not being able to be productive and control my rage bursts without cigarettes. I was completely another person, and I recall taking breaks from anything I did to have a smoke, and the activity often took way more time to complete and it was poorly done. I quit because I was ashamed of myself for being dependent on something so small and irrelevant. And I am sure there are people out there who feel or felt the same thing as me.
  17. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Well, if smoking it's a shameful thing, the media has a lot to do with it. They've been imposing smoking since the 40s and 50s. Remember James Dean? He always had a cigarette in his mouth. What do you think that was all about? Advertising, that's what it was. Today it's not cigarettes, It's drugs and booze they're promoting. There's not a single movie I've watched lately that doesn't promote drinking and using drugs. So, never listen to the media because they're just a bunch of well paid hypocrites.
    lalabee21 likes this.
  18. greybird29

    greybird29 Active Contributor

    I can also say that I am not ashamed to admit that I am I smoker. Yes I know it is a weakness, a habit that I would like to stop and have cut down tremendously in the past year. I would like to stop for me, for my health, so I can live longer with lungs that can keep me breathing; not for society and the way they feel about it. I have a new granddaughter that lives with us so I no longer smoke in my house for both our sake; studies do prove smoking can cause health issues. I know that when I smoke in public I am respectful of children yet if there are adults that don’t like it then they can avoid me and my smoke.
  19. Jamesbonner

    Jamesbonner Active Contributor

    yes bro, smoking is shameful thing ! I'm a smoker and I really feel ashame about smoking, for now my parents doesn't know that I smoke, and I prefere to not let them now, it's not something good, and if society doesn't makes us feel like it's something shameful, smoker's number will increase and society will be destroyed !
  20. greybird29

    greybird29 Active Contributor

    James I do not have to worry about my parents knowing anymore. I have to worry about my children and now my Granddaughter. I really do not want her to know or see me smoking; which is the main reason I want to stop. However cigarettes have been my babysitter for so long it much easier said than done.