There’s a story behind this blog post.
The post was originally a press release which we circulated around newspapers (hence a different format from normal). We’ve had lots of coverage before in the media, having being featured in the Sun, The Mail, The Scotsman (our press releases have even triggered mentions on I’ve Got News for You and a BBC news report).
However, this one was rejected. And the feedback is the same as we’ve had before: that stories that project smokers in a positive light, or even as victims, are of no interest to the media.
Smokophobia Increasingly An Issue
Almost nine out of ten smokers feel they are discriminated against by society according to a new survey.
The poll by ecigarettedirect.co.uk found 87% of smokers feel their habit makes others look down on them.
The survey also found that 61% of smokers had encountered discrimination at some point during the past year.
Incidents cited range from being asked to put their cigarette out in the street to being dumped by a partner for failing to quit.
It’s believed the smoking ban has hardened the attitude of many against smokers and particularly those who light up in the street.
Only 13% of the smokers questioned believed their habit didn’t make others view them negatively.
Almost half of all the smokers – 46% – said they felt their habit put them at a disadvantage in their career.
And more than one in ten- 11% – said they did their best to keep their habit a secret at work.
Smokers also believe their habit limits their options in the dating game with more than a third – 35% – stating they believed smoking limited their chances with the opposite sex.
One male respondent said: “When I was a student 20 odd years ago, it felt like everyone smoked and it was totally normal to face the world with a fag between your lips.
“Now though it’s different. There are days when I feel like a leper if I dare light up in the street. I even had a lady ask me to put it out the other day. She said my smoke was blowing into her baby’s face.
“They’ve banned us from smoking just about everywhere. It’ll be a street ban next. It’s almost enough to make we want to quit.”
A female respondent said: “My ex boyfriend was a smoker who managed to quit cigarettes. He kept nagging me to give up and I tried a few times but always gave in and had a cigarette after a few days.
“Then one day, quite out of the blue, he told me he just couldn’t be with me anymore. He said kissing me reminded him of smoking and he had to break free of me in order to stay off the ciggies. I was devastated.”
A spokesman for ecigarettedirect.co.uk who conducted the survey said: “The results of the poll highlight how factors such as the smoking ban have led to a change in public attitudes.
“A decade ago smoking was seen as much more socially acceptable than it is today.
“Now it seems a majority of smokers feel others perceive them negatively and many also feel their habit is holding them back in both their love lives and career.
“Everyone know smoking is bad for you. However, what smokers really need is support to help them quit or switch to a safer alternative rather than ill judged discrimination which is simply not tolerated in other areas of life.”