Originally Posted by Angela
A couple of reasons, I think: First, although I understand you may not see it this way, smoking occurs as such an egregiously harmful agent, causing cancers, premature aging, respiratory and cardiac problems, etc., that it shows up as bold self-destruction. Many of us have personally witnessed loved ones dying of lung cancer (a very suffery kind of death) or emphysema, or just seeing the skin of someone who has smoked for a few years - yichhh, and actively doing something that occurs as causing those things can make a person look pretty stupid to a person for whom health and vitality are values, and then on top of that, smoking is invasive into the lives of nonsmokers -- it's pretty yucky to breathe in second-hand smoke without having any choice in the matter but to leave, or even have to smell the fairly disgusting smell on people's breath or clothing. Food choices don't tend to infringe on other people's space as much. (Perfume does, though -- that can get pretty gross.) Also, to an anti-smoker, the manipulation for profit by tobacco companies is pretty disgusting, along with the willingness of smokers to dramatically compromise their health and pay lots of money for the privilege of doing so.
So the feeling of resentment towards smokers and the disgust at the manipulation done by tobacco companies, added to what looks like extremely self-destructive behavior, is what makes smoking the patsy.
Now that I don't smoke, I understand about the smell. I had forgotten how powerful the smell can be. But funnily enough, I don't get all huffy if a group of people are standing at the entrance of a store smoking and I have to breathe their smoke for 10 seconds. I would get annoyed if I had to be around it for any length of time, but almost every public place is now non-smoking, so it's a rare occasion I'm even exposed to it. So the "offensive" part of smoking is mostly gone in today's society. (But I can understand how the older people might still be annoyed by the smoke because they grew up in a generation where you could smoke everywhere. THAT was cause for uproar and annoyance, I can agree. But nowadays? At most you only have to experience someone's puff of smoke for 10 seconds as you enter a store or something, and that's hardly something to get bent out of shape about.)
I can understand that if you've watched a loved one die of such diseases caused by smoking. That must be tough. And, not to detract from the pain one would feel from such an experience, that STILL doesn't make their decision STUPID and it is NOT a cause for anybody to get resentful toward smokers as a whole. That resentment is actually indicative of some unprocessed pain. Just because you watched someone die from lung cancer does not give you any right as a person to point your finger at someone and call them stupid. I guarantee you that by the same standard you judge smoking as stupid, you've probably made at least 6 stupid choices of a similar vein today that ISN'T singled out by our society and made out to be stupid.