Social Class and Social Stigma
Social Class and Social Stigma

Social Class and Social Stigma

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  • Pages: 3 (1100 words)
  • Published: October 5, 2021
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Social class and social stigma have a bearing on smoking in society. A significant relationship exists between smoking trends exhibited among the people to the social settings and stigma that potentially portrays adverse effects on people’s well-being. Hillary Graham is spot on and very right in the assertion to argue for the close link between smoking, social class, and stigma.
Smoking, social class, and social stigma aspects are conjoined at the hip in that one action depends on the other variable.

The smoking dynamics experienced in the high-income countries has been motivated by various social undertakings to discourage the vice as they enumerate the misgivings it effects in society. Tobacco control measures employed by the government have a tremendous impact on the smoking of cigarettes among the people.

The control policies have directly led to the declining numbers of cigarette smokers in high-income countries (Goldstein, University of Manitoba, & Winnipeg Area Study, 1989). Tobacco control policies have fuelled the increased social stigma to the cigarette smokers as the intensified campaigns and awareness discourage the vice completely (Schaler, & Schaler, 1998). The discourse in the public domain contrast smoking to the lacking of moral worth, which sets to influence a perceived notion of breakage of the moral fiber among the smokers.

Society is comprised of different, unequal personalities in the social ladder, and their behaviors vary drastically depending on some factors in their environment. The wealthy and the have-nots experience different situations in their life that are likely to take varied trajectory on their behaviors and attitudes in life. The differences play a significant r


ole to how smoking affects their life, and one cannot presume to understand their position to smoke on an equal scale.

Hilary Graham’s argument holds water on the correlation between smoking, the social stigma, and social classes in society. Graham argues that the use of tobacco in high-income countries is on a decline because of the primary effect of government intervention to discourage smoking.

Hilary Graham compares the difference in smoking prevalence in the past and the declining trend experienced in the twentieth century. Graham further examines the smoking rate analysis concerning the socio-economic level citing the disparity in the United States and England (Adler, & Adler, 2000). The low-income cadre smoking rates stand at 25 percent twice the high-income cadre at 10percent in the United States while England the low-income at 37 percent compared 15 percent for the high-income.

Hilary Graham asserts objectively that the principal contributors to the massive decline of the smokers are the tobacco control policies via the publicized information awareness campaigns and the restrictions on smoking conveying the vice as socially unacceptable. It is fair that she acknowledges the government’s efforts to protect public health hence the continuous appraisal by health researchers that equally it has led to the stigmatization of smokers in society. She focused her research on the high-income countries, in particular, the United Kingdom to sample the damaging effects of the control measures in society.

One is convinced as Hilary explains her examination of the changing social attitudes to smoking and the reasons behind such a trend. The declining trend and changing social attitudes squarely vests in the

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intensified negative perception pitting adverse health effects and socially unacceptability against smoking. The adult demography contends that smoking adversely causes health defects like lung cancer, and the overall population is aware that smoking is harmful to their health either passive or active.

The rippling effect of the potential threat to the smoker’s health is the exponential decline of smoking. An evident cultural shift in the United Kingdom from regarding smoking as a classy act to upholding a paradigm shift believing it is a dirty, immoral act. Despite the health defects posed by smoking the policies that advocated for seclusion and segregation of smokers inspired the societal view of smoking to be socially unacceptable.

As much as the control policies are meant to protect the non-smokers from exposure to health issues posed by smoking the move has also contributed to the stigmatization of smoking. The shifting of social practices is right, what has been the motive of the control policies. Hilary is convincing as she dissects clearly the extent to which the control policies have changed the societal attitude towards smoking despite the changing patterns of the people engaging in smoking (Drope, 2011).

The health policies in the United Kingdom enabled the decline in smoking but also contributed to social stigma affecting those still engaging in smoking. The smoking demography has also changed patterns among men and women smokers (Chapman, 2007). The UK studies analysis pits smoking to be a lifestyle problem that then defines the impact of smoking on the social fabric of our communities.

The extensive awareness campaigns and information on the underlying hazards caused by the continued use of cigarettes. The legislation put in place contemplated the ability to guard the non-smokers population against the risk of exposure that can deteriorate their health status. The public research authorities seek to protect those innocently and unwillingly exposed to tobacco without their consent.

The patterns of smoking reveal that the social environment and status increase the risk of people smoking in society. A case in point is the girls on early motherhood, and single mothers are at a significant risk of engaging in smoking. The social background like one who are from disadvantaged groups as those with a poor childhood past and the ones who faced hardships premised on poverty. The non-smokers who align the smokers on a negative pedestal tend to stigmatize them even further as they view them on a disadvantaged prism in society.

The United Kingdom people label smokers with undeserving names that confine them to lower class and the unemployed poor immoral members of the community. The dissenting opinions are essential ingredients to make the divide on the debate understand the effects of the tobacco policies on the social lives of the smokers. It is imperative that as the society seeks to solve the problems of the community and not create another problem that disenfranchises local members to oblivion.

In conclusion, the debate on the policies and the bad siding effects it has on the social being is still open to debate within the public research community. The public health systems should strive to set a balance between the massive campaigns to inspire the change

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