The following is my response to a National "we-[especially-Terrence-Corcoran]-would-never-accept-a-dime-from-the-tobacco-industry" Post article entitled, “Shaming smokers makes it harder to quit: study.”
In short, the smokescreen, pardon the pun... I mean, the article... is about a study/report by a group of UBC researchers. The very first sentence of the article sets the [bullshit] tone: “Years of anti-smoking laws and campaigns have amounted to a public shaming of smokers... ” (emphasis mine, throughout). And the crap continues...
One study subject whined, “You really are labeled as a bad person if you smoke.”
And Kirsten Bell, lead author of a paper just published on the issue, joined the chorus of whiners, claiming, “People are made to feel really, really bad about their smoking and are treated quite badly...”! In her very next breath, however, Bell provides a very small glimmer of truth when she says, “They [smokers] feel really negatively about themselves...”
Bell goes on to suggest that there is some sort of a contrast between “how smokers are treated and the NON-JUDGMENTAL, ‘harm-reduction’ approach now widely applied by public health to people with other addictions.”…the clear -- and FALSE -- implication being that we (anti-tobacco activists) and/or “public health” people are ‘judgmental’ toward smokers.
My point, as alluded to by Gar Mahood (Non-Smokers’ Rights Association, Toronto): Whether it be the ‘OPINIONS’ of smokers themselves, their drug [nicotine] dealers (the pushers in pinstripes at the tobacco industry) or any of the industry’s well-paid (albeit with blood-stained money) puppets, ‘the tobacco-control movement has NOT tried to stigmatize smokers, individually or collectively.’
As smoking bans continue to expand, many smokers (and even some non-smoking ‘sympathizers’) – especially those who belong to so-called “smokers’ rights” groups – have developed a major “Woe is me!” (or, “Woe are we!”) mentality. They are whiners who want all of the “freedoms”, “choices” and “rights” that were once thought to be part of the smoking ritual, but none of the responsibilities that normally go along with all such freedoms/choices/rights. NONE WHATSOEVER!
Support Errol Povah in his Journey for a Tobacco Free World: http://tobaccofreeworld.ca/
I would also suggest that many smokers have a serious love/hate relationship with smoking, cigarettes (often thought of as their ‘best friends’... always there for them, through good times and bad, blah, blah, blah) and, ultimately, themselves! Deep down inside, many of them desperately want to quit, but won’t/can’t…for one valid -- or, most likely, INVALID -- reason or another.
Bottom line: No legitimate anti-tobacco activist that I know – and I know many of them, from all over the world – is the least bit interested in the “public shaming” of smokers…or has ever ‘labeled’ any smoker as a “bad person.” Nor has anyone I know ever “treated [any smoker] quite badly” or in a ‘judgmental’ way…unless, for some warped reason, you somehow consider reasonable and ever-expanding smoking bans to be part of treating smokers badly.