It's Official: Smoking is No Longer Cool
September 9, 2011 12:13 AM EST
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that heavy smokers are on the decline -- but even light smokers will need to quit altogether in order to regain the respect of their peers.
According to a recent Gallup poll, one in four people judge a person's character because of the unhealthy habit -- even if they are smokers themselves.
In the 1990s, only 14% of people reported having lost respect for smokers. But as the habit has become increasingly marginalized, smokers are at a higher risk of becoming social pariahs.
The number of heavy smokers in the U.S. has dropped substantially -- only 8% of the population smokes 30 or more cigarettes a day in 2010, down from 13% in 2005. But the decline of smokers overall is nowhere near as significant, with a drop from 20.9 percent to 19.3 in the same time frame.
The results of the study did not disclose whether there may be additional variables influencing the social perception of smokers. Marc Lipton, a Maryland-based clinical psychologist, told USA Today that up to 35% of his patients struggling to quit smoking have underlying mental health problems that could be preventing them from kicking the habit. Lipton believes that smokers with "untreated anxiety and depression" are unlikely to successfully quit until the emotional issues are resolved.
Still, the CDC is confident that smoking rate in the U.S. can continue to decline.
"There's a misperception that we've reached an irreducible minimum for smoking rates, and that's very far from the truth,'' Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, told The Boston Globe . "We know it's possible to drive down tobacco rates substantially more than we have already.''
Most major cities in the U.S. -- and even in Europe -- have cracked down on smoking in restaurants in bars in the last decade. This past May, New York City banned smoking in outdoor public areas -- such as parks, beaches, and pedestrain plazas.
But a month after the ban became official, the Huffington Post reported that only one violation ticket had been issued -- and that person intentionally lit up in the company of Parks Department officers to flaunt the lax enforcement of the smoking ban.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Back To Herself After Struggling With Hyperemesis Gravidarum
- Ebola Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson Confident Of Human Trials In January And Market Delivery in May Next Year
- 12 Terrifyingly Healthy Halloween Treats
- New York Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola
- ‘Death Sentence’ For 50,000 Australians With The Refusal Of Costly Hep C Treatment
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- Three Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Variants Comes To China
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories