Opinion: Stop demonizing smokers
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The stigma against smokers has reached an all time high is our society. People think that it is their right to judge those who smoke. As a former smoker, I think this is terrible. If someone wants to smoke they should be allowed to do so because it is a personal choice.
For some people, smoking is a stress reducer. There is a sense of camaraderie among smokers. As long as they do not endanger others with health risks (such as secondhand smoke) they should be allowed to continue their behavior harassment free.
Harassment takes many forms. People judge and point out the obvious dangers, and towns make it difficult to buy tobacco products. Instead of being accepting toward people who smoke, strangers are often coarse toward them. Schools reinforce students with the idea that they should not associate with those who smoke, and this leads to much of the institutionalized discrimination toward smokers.
If one is old enough to smoke one should be allowed to do so. The ability to smoke is something guaranteed to you by the law, if you are an adult. Also the various inconsistencies between the towns and cities in Massachusetts in the ages they allow people to smoke is rather pointless. If someone wants to buy tobacco products they can simply go to the next town over and purchase them there. This makes enforcement of the rule pretty useless as circumventing the rules is incredibly easy.
Not to mention the fact that if you are 18 you should be allowed to smoke. At age 18 you are legally an adult who can vote and is eligible for the draft. Why should you not be able to smoke either?
With all of the problems going on right now, criticizing smokers should be last on your agenda.