Cigarette Smokers Have Rights Too

Last updated on December 13th, 2021

No Smoking Here Uncle Sam Poster

Is This Country Violating Smokers' Rights?

I’ve been participating in a discussion about quitting cigarettes and I’ve changed my mind about a few things. One thing I’ve realized is that there is no such thing as Smokers' Rights. Too often it doesn’t pay to tell someone that smoking is bad for you.  You’ll either get a “so what else is new” comment, or a “yeah, but I could get hit by a truck tomorrow” comment.

I was once on the side of the “general public” in the U.S. who basically maintain that smoking in public is a violation of the rights of non-smokers. After all, second hand smoke is just as harmful as first hand smoking, (right?) and smoke stinks up the place, your clothes and your hair and creates an all-around distasteful environment for those who can’t stand tobacco or tobacco smokers. But there is another side to this.. and that is that smokers have rights too.

Smokers Are Now Stigmatized

According to studies cited in a recent article in New Republic, smokers are now perceived as “lacking in cleanliness”. Smoking is even regarded by some as a sign of personal failure. They certainly do not believe in smokers' rights.

Smokers are not second-class citizens. Many started smoking when it was still OK to smoke in public spaces. A lot of them are offended by those who think they can just change the rules and deny smokers rights just to satisfy a bunch of special interest groups.

1965 tareyton ad

1965 Tareyton Ad

Cigarettes are still enjoyed by millions who would rather “fight than switch” (remember that one?). I maintain that it's nearly impossible to convince a die-hard smoker that smoking will kill them. There are lots of stats, true, but only the smoker can decide if and when they want to quit. Giving up something one finds really pleasurable (and is addicting to boot), is hard! Being told they can't smoke, just makes them mad.

What About Electronic Cigarettes?

Millions of people have switched to using e-cigarettes. One reason they choose to vape is that they can now smoke at home indoors, in some bars and in their cars without the smell or smoke associated with tobacco cigarettes. Vaping is not only proving to be a very pleasurable smoking alternative, it's a fact that vaping is at least 98% safer than smoking cigarettes. Still, there are too many special interest groups who think vapers should be treated with the same contempt as smokers, but that's another discussion.

I'm glad vaping is now hugely popular because I, like many former smokers, have a distaste for the smell, the butts and the smoke of cigarettes and ecigs have none of those unpleasant features. 

E-cigarettes are sometimes marketed as an alternative to smoking tobacco, but vaping is really in a class of its own. Being able to enjoy savory flavors, with or without nicotine, while blowing clouds of vapor is one factor what makes the difference.

The Hidden Costs of Smoking

You may not have considered it, but vaping can also save you a lot of money. 

With cigarette sales declining, prices are skyrocketing. The absence of smokers' rights are affecting your wallet too.

If you’re looking to try out a vaping device because you've had it with the stigma of being a smoker, or you simply want a safer smoking alternative, you should know that the safest, most reputable kits are sold on-line. They’re also designed with your personal preferences in mind. Not only do the styles vary, but the distributor’s return policies, e-liquid safety standards and customer service can be better than you'll get by shopping in a vape shop.

I also suggest investing in a quality device. The experience will give you a fair trial of the vaping experience. There are several excellent vape companies, but I often recommend Vaporfi.  You can also check out our Best Selling Electronic Cigarette Comparison Chart, which includes helpful details about each brand.

Whatever space you're in, remember you do deserve the right to smoke or vape.

I wish you good health and happiness. 

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    • Dee on December 27, 2023 at 4:01 PM
    • Reply

    Guns are much more dangerous but it seems they are allowed everywhere.

    • on September 3, 2010 at 2:28 PM
    • Reply

    Much thanks Efren!

    • Silvia Winn on August 9, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    • Reply

    Thank you! I sincerely appreciate your tolerance and as a smoker I am taking the time to write this reply precisely because of your open-mindedness.

    I can understand why you think it is impossible to convince smokers that smoking will kill them because … it doesn’t! :-)
    Yes, I’ve read the surgeon general’s warning on the pack of cigarettes. However, there are families such as my own, where everybody has been a smoker and not one of us has died of cancer or emphysema. Both my parents and grandparents smoked all their lives and they died in their 80’s-90’s of non-smoking related diseases. I’m 50 years old, I’ve smoked all my life and the last time I had a cold was 10 years ago. Every day I take spinning or aerobics classes and I have more stamina and endurance than many of the 20 year olds in my class. Are we the exception? Probably!… but the exception does not prove the rule. On the contrary. If smoking caused cancer than everybody who smoked would die of cancer but that is not the case. Some of us do and some of us don’t. Why? Genetics! Smoking combined with a certain genetic make-up will cause cancer unlike nuclear radiation which will kill you every time. The cause and effect link between nuclear radiation and death is clear whereas the same thing does not apply to smoking.

    I completely agree that smokers should refrain from smoking in confined places because it’s not fair for non-smokers. They have nowhere to escape!…. but, like your article says: “Smokers have rights too.” There should be smoking and non-smoking sections everywhere; universities, restaurants, hotels etc… but the way things stand if a smoker and a non-smoker find themselves on the same sidewalk the smoker has to step down and that’s legalized discrimination; a very dangerous and slippery slope that could eventually lead to the destruction of our individual rights.

    Right now it’s just smokers but I get terrible migraines when somebody is wearing perfume so if I get together with other people who feel the same way I do, maybe we can pass legislation to ban perfume from all public venues! When people drink alcohol in beach resorts they make a lot of noise at night and they don’t let other people sleep so maybe we should ban alcohol from public places. Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s a matter of tolerance, freedom and personal choice.

    Would you like to live in a world where the collective decides what you should or should not do as an individual? Not me! Maybe it’s my old-time hippie rebellious nature but nowadays when somebody tells me I can’t smoke I get this irresistible urge to light up just as a matter of principle. :-)

      • on August 9, 2010 at 7:54 PM
      • Reply

      Thanks Silvia for leaving this great comment. I totally agree when you say, “It’s a matter of tolerance, freedom and personal choice”. Cheers!

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