Sample Sociology Research Paper on Why Smoking Become Less (Acceptable) Stigmatized In Societies


A rise in the societal unacceptability of smoking has melodramatically reduced tobacco usage in the US. Nonetheless, how policies and societal aspects move the social unacceptability of tobacco usage are not clearly comprehended. This research paper proposes that the stigmatization of smokers is an unacknowledged drive in the tobacco usage. Therefore, it is essential to study the sources of smoker-associated stigmatization as alleged by present and earlier smokers. This paper has broadly examined stigma formation in the setting of the tobacco epidemic and inspects the role of ascription, fear, tobacco regulation programs, power and societal standards in the creation of smoker-related stigma. The paper has tested theories regarding the causes of stigma in society by engaging a population-grounded model of present and earlier smokers in the US. The consequences indicate that insights of individual ascriptions for smoking conduct and fear concerning the health concerns of second-hand smoke are essential effects on smoker-associated stigmatization.

Why Smoking Become Less (Acceptable) Stigmatized In Societies

The rise in the societal unacceptability of smoking has had a striking influence on tobacco usage in the United States, particularly in states and towns that have legislated harsh tobacco control rules (Stuber, Galea, & Link, 2008). Nonetheless, how rules and social aspects move the societal unacceptability of tobacco usage have not been thoroughly comprehended. Attribution theory supposes that people seek to comprehend the conduct of others by attributing sentiments, convictions, and occurrences to them. Potential aspects underlying the connection between societal unacceptability and tobacco intake comprise fumes free air in households, workshops and cafeterias, media fights emphasizing the perils of second-hand smoke, and societal customs. A current investigation recommends that the stigmatization of tobacco users may be an added benefit since cigar smokers who recognize high heights of the brand are further likely to be cowards. This paper examines the factors that lead to insights of stigma amid present and earlier smokers using freshly advanced measures of the smoker-related brand.

The paper hypothesizes stigma as the undesirable labels, dyslogistic evaluations, societal outstripping, and prejudice that could take place when persons who lack control diverge from group norms. Disgrace is at once a societal course of marginalization committed by those who do the stigmatizing and at the same time a circumstance that branded persons need to pilot (Stuber, Galea, & Link, 2009). This case focuses on stigma alleged by present and earlier smokers, the people who are stigmatized, to recognize potential societal and historical procedures that might be at work in the building of the smoker as a castaway. The study looks at the larger literature on stigma creation in the background of the tobacco epidemic concentrating on five hypothetical fields as they narrate to the stigma, which includes attribution theory, anxiety or hazard, disgrace, policy and power, and social norms in relations to stigma.

Attribution Theory and Stigma

Attribution theory asserts that when an individual is established to despoil group customs, people try to explore the cause of this defilement, which in turn influences their handling of that person. The theory forecasts that stigmatized circumstances may be assumed exterior to the control of the branded individual smoker. This is because of smoking being linked to less guilt and annoyance with further positive feelings, which in turn causes a disposition to aid rather than to penalize (Paetzold, Dipboye, & Elsbach, 2008). From this basis, perceptions concerning the grounds of smoking would be vital to the creation of smoker-linked stigma. For most of the 20th century, smoking was considered as a learned societal behavior and as an individual option. Illustrating from the attribution concept, people think that principles of this influence may be nonstop and connected to insights of smoker-linked stigma.

In the last decennium, people focused on other probable reasons of smoking that developed. Precisely, the role of societal pressure in instigating and sustaining smoking actions is commencing to be more extensively acknowledged. Individuals believe that the insight that stress stimulates smoking would be contrariwise in connection to smoker-associated stigma as the locale of regulation for the conduct is reframed as determined by external circumstances. Support is also developing for the notion that there is a genetically acquired exposure to nicotine dependence (Bayer, 2008). Attribution theory establishes that hereditary causal attribution may cut smoker-associated stigma as the change of control for the conduct is reframed as biological. Recent research on mental illness and stigma recommends that hereditary attributions not only fall short of decreasing stigmatizing faiths but essentially contribute to augments in some disgrace-relevant fields. Furthermore, this research claims that since inherited features are seen as irretrievable, indispensable genetic thinking results in larger stigmatization once employed to undesirably treasured qualities as it leads to perceptions. These perceptions outline the individuals dissimilar from others and affirm that the problem is prevailing and severe, and that the difficulty is likely to take place in other household members. Consequently, one might theorize that hereditary attributions for smoking may be positively associated with smoker-linked stigma.

Fear and stigma

Fear has been proven to cause branding attitudes toward various features, health circumstances, and manners, for instance, leprosy, HIV/AIDS, and mental ailment. The reasons causing these fears, for instance, infection, volatility, and the attest base for them differ for each circumstance and manner. Fear regarding the traumas grounded from second-hand tobacco smoke might be one element underlying smoker-linked stigmatization. Mounting prove from two decennia ago points out that smoking is not only a health threat to smokers, but it also jeopardizes nonsmokers (Bayer, 2008). The efficiency of the second-hand smoke drive is encouraged by acknowledgment of the impeccant victim, for instance, youngsters with smoking mothers. Therefore, one may presume that fear concerning the risk that the second-hand smoke poses to youngsters could be positively associated with insights of stigma.

Policy and Stigma

The larger study on social stigmatization recognizes two methods that societal rule might add to branding. First, the societal policy has been revealed to cause stigmatization by structural or official systems of discrimination. Structural discrimination contains the rules of private and political institutes that limit the chances of downgraded groups whether such restraint takes place through anticipated or unintended effects of the rules (Bell, Salmon, Bowers, Bell & McCullough, 2010). There are various instances of societal rule causing the lengthening of discrimination and a rise in stigma against individuals of a minority race, people with HIV/AIDS, and individuals with mental illness. Instances of structural discrimination are starting to develop in the setting of the tobacco epidemic. For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union gauges the approach of establishments that decline to employ smokers comprising Alaska Airlines and the World Health Organization. The created rules, by sanctioning favoritism, revoke smokers’ rights and treat them like common citizens by including them in a category that does not differentiate cigar smoker from non-smokers. The intent here is not to equate what is referred to as structural discrimination perpetrated against smokers with structural discrimination committed against other marginalized groups because there are ways in which the former instances of structural discrimination may be justified, for example, with rationales such as employers having to pay more for the health insurance of their smoking employees. Instead, what this study emphasizes is that the process of separate and lower placement that results from this sort of policy will be positively associated with perceptions of smoker-related stigma among current and former smokers.

A different method in which social programs lead to raised stigmatization is through emblematical messages of ethical disapprobation. Strategies intended to sanction or segregate a selected group of persons from others are mainly stigma creating. By this rationality, smoke-free air regulations may also generate stigma (Stuber, Meyer, & Link, 2008). This takes place when tobacco users are at random regulated to smoke as per the smoke-free air rules enforcement. This is triggered by tobacco user’s addiction to smoking for a long period. Smoke-free air rules are increasing in the US (Burgess, Fu, & Van Ryn, 2009). In a few years, forty-one states limited smoking in governmental locates, while 20 states controlled tobacco use in private structures. Thirty-one states put limitations on smoking in eateries, and six states had alike prohibitions in cantinas. It is not only the US government that is limiting tobacco conduct but also private industries that are engaged in tightening confinements on work-place smoking and constraints on smoking within families. Therefore, current and former smokers who have larger contact to smoke-free air rules may be more probable of encountering the smoker- associated stigma.

Power, Marginalization, and Brand

As per studies, it is not possible to stigmatize entirely, to effectively tag, pejoratively stereotype, successfully isolate, and largely single out against, a specific group except when they lack societal, economic or governmentalcontrol about the individuals who are practicing the stigmatization. From this outlook, one may claim that the branding of the American smoker has been more efficiently attained since the socioeconomic makeup of smokers has transformed in the US over the years. The tobacco literature recognizes a solid undesirable association between junior learning levels, income, and smoking decrease signifying there is a robust social determined constituent to smoking cessation (Schroeder, 2008). Despite the fact that socioeconomic inequalities in smoking prevention are not thoroughly comprehended, numerous features, possibly related to stigmatization, have been recommended. For instance, studies have revealed that blue collar workers live in work-related surroundings that are less understanding of abandonment. Current studies have established that cigarette smoking is linked to dissimilarities in cultural perceptions between luxuriously and grimly socioeconomic persons. Consequently, one may theorize that individuals of grim socioeconomic rank might be less likely to notice smoker-linked stigma than persons of luxurious socioeconomic conditions.

Societal Norms and Stigma

Societal norms are rules or ethics that are comprehended by members of a group, and that direct or limit individual conduct even with no drive of the law. Stigma philosophers indicate the relevance of societal standards to disgrace creation of courses. For example, a current study claims that stigmatization is an overall characteristic of every society as deviations from group norms are inevitable and pervasive (Evans-Polce, Castaldelli-Maia, Schomerus, & Evans-Lacko, 2015). Others argue that stigmatization is an attribute of all societies to excerpt conformance with societal standards, which is essential to impose law and command. Consorting to this outlook, stigmatization is a result of neglecting to observe the social norms for the intention of creating the perverted individual conformation and riposte the group or simply, for other members of the group, the conducts that are intolerable and the significances that may influence those who involve in the actions. Stigma might only be employed in these methods to raise conformity around manners and individualities that are considered voluntary. Thence, social standards might be particularly relevant to comprehending smoker-related brand.

The duty of cogitating about how societal norms may create smoker-related stigma is composite for numerous diverse kinds of normative effects that subsist and functions at several stages in a person’s life. Incidentally, one can fathom two kinds of social norms. One is the descriptive standards; these are insights of what the majority of individuals do in a particular condition. Additionally, there are a set of societal standards grounded not on what other persons do, but on a set of prescriptive principles; whether certain referents commend or criticize the conduct and how enthused a person is to abide by each of these terms. These standards have been denoted as the norms that exist or enjoinment (Jetten, Schmitt, Branscombe, Garza, & Mewse, 2011). Of these two kinds of patterns, enjoining standards might be the most appropriate to stigma creation courses as they are clearly prescriptive and judgmental while descriptive standards are expressed grounded on remarks of how frequently group norms are dishonored.

The association between societal norms and smoker-linked stigma is more complicated by the fact that persons are involved in various social bands. Within each band, people are likely to come across both enjoinment and descriptive, prescriptive effects (Brown‐Johnson et al., 2015). Rank in some groups might certainly be more vital to persons than membership in other bands. For instance, grown-ups might probably value the views of their household and acquaintances more than they esteem the opinions of their neighbors though this may not all the time be the case. Consequently, individuals’ insights of injunctive norms functioning at the family and peer heights might have a further authoritative effect on smoker-linked stigma than injunctive norms comprehended at the neighborhood stage.

Voluntary Risk

Given the result that one’s ascription for smoking is linked to smoker-associated stigma, it is important to comprehend how this aspect came to be relevant in the tobacco eruption. A significant milestone in the community health program in contrast to tobacco use in two decennia ago decriminalizes fifteen years of developing evidence about the hazards of smoking to wellness (Halding, Heggdal, & Wahl, 2011). As per research regarding this paper, tobacco regulation firms efficiently express the circumstance for smoking as a voluntary danger. Simultaneously, a wide pool of studies argues that different to many other western states that have a straight stake in the wellness and illness of their people due to the enforcement of countrywide health policy programs, in the US there is a sturdy disposition to hold persons responsible for the dangers they cause.

Research information argues that the subject of smoking is a voluntary danger that is not understood nowadays (Burgess et al., 2009). While there are actions within the tobacco regulation to reestablish smoking manners as influenced by exterior conditions, research information recommends that these moves may not palliate stigma and could, in fact, exasperate it. It is likely that respondents who associate smoking with stress distinguish that the smoker’s incapability to handle the pressure causes him/her to smoke and not the strain as some people say. Futurity study should review more entirely the degree to which smoking is alleged to be a publicly determined activity and whether such insights are connected to stigma.

The serious health effects for non-smokers from contact to second-hand smoke are thoroughly recognized. Hence, concern as a probable reaction is comprehensible. For youngsters and fetuses, the health dangers brought by second-hand smoke is incredible counting augmented danger for reduced birth weight, abrupt infant deaths, lung infections, and asthma (Brown‐Johnson et al., 2015). Additionally, research indicates that youngsters whose parents smoke are highly expected to smoke. Studies affirm that there is some connection between fear and stigmatized outlooks in smokers in non-smoking populations.

Discrimination Influence

Current research has recognized a strong connection between involvements of structural discrimination and insights of smoker-associated stigma (Bell et al., 2010). Although there is no complete list of corporations which exercise lifestyle discrimination in the United States, as per earlier studies conducted by the Administrative Management Society, 8% of all employers discriminate against smokers. Of late, the World Health Organization has become the biggest global company to prohibit employing of smokers in an attempt to encourage its public health movement against tobacco usage. Discrimination against smokers is expected to increase as most states have not so far approved laws barring methods of lifestyle control.

Educational Impact

While significant improvement has been made in decreasing the preponderance of smoking in the last decennium, smoking levels are dissimilar as expressed by socioeconomic sets. Education is the durable forecaster of burning forms (Halding et al., 2011). Numerous features have been suggested to explicate the connection between didactics and smoking. For instance, one description relates to differential designing of normative surroundings by educational phase. Additionally, highly educated individuals are open to smoke-free air rules. The relationship acknowledged between educational stage and smoker-associated stigma is reliable with an explanation that the societal unacceptability of smoking, which is probably the purpose of numerous diverse mechanisms at play concurrently, has a larger influence on smoking forms amongst more highly educated smokers as equated to less civilized smokers. Stigma is one probable mechanism fundamental to the societal unacceptability that contributes to educational inequalities in smoking.

Family and Friends Influence

Research has established that household and acquaintances’ condemnation of smoking activities is connected to smoker-associated stigmatization. Nevertheless, descriptive standards are not linked to disgrace is not surprising when looked at within the setting of other effective behavioral hypotheses, for example, the theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). As per the TRA, while determining on a track of the action, people excogitate upon the views of what other individuals suppose them to do (Evans-Polce et al., 2015). It is likely that stigma is an arbitrator in the liaison amongst these prospects and smoking conduct. Since stigmatization is a course of devaluation and elimination, it creates logic that normative assessments, as contrasting to observational evaluations, are relevant to stigma occurrence in societies. Presently, research on societal standards in the smoking literature and the association between social rules and disgrace is weakening.


The majority of the sources of smoker-associated stigma have been considered malleable. The tobacco regulation bodies should handle the role of stigmatization and resolve it as it is something it needs to address. A possible advantage of smoker-associated stigma is that it might cause people to comprehend the impact of its influential force in preventing smoking. The conception of smoking as a voluntary activity, messages that fault the smoker for hurting innocent people, for instance, youngsters, basic methods of discrimination, and condemnation of smoking, discriminative conducts by household and peers lead to smoker-linked stigma. Significantly, the restrictive impacts of stigma may not be experienced similarly across diverse socioeconomic and ethnic subcategories and there is a great necessity to comprehend stigma courses in the modern societies more abundantly.


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