One of the other things I noticed about this article was a reference to the “self-induced social isolation” of smokers, and also to “smoking self-stigma”, as if smokers were isolating and stigmatising themselves, and had only themselves to blame for their isolation and stigmatisation.
In reality, as I was explaining yesterday, Tobacco Control is doing all the stigmatisation of smokers. And it’s also the principal driver acting to isolate smokers. But if they can blame isolation and stigma on smokers, they relieve themselves of all blame.
And the way that isolation works is quite simple. Smoking bans in pubs and cafes make those formerly-welcoming places into unwelcoming ones. Smokers no longer feel welcome inside them. So they stop going. There’s nothing “self-induced” about it at all. Nor has it anything to do with stigmatisation. Smokers have been “exiled to the outdoors”, and that’s where their isolation begins.
The same happens if they have antismoking friends who also make them stand outside their homes if they want to smoke. That kills friendships just as much as state-legislated smoking bans. If you don’t like visiting your newly-unwelcoming local pub, you won’t want to visit your newly-unwelcoming antismoking friends either.
But it’s not just the smokers who become isolated. There are always two parties to any friendship. For every friendship or acquaintanceship that disintegrates under the impact of voluntary or involuntary smoking bans, one party will likely be a smoker, and the other party will be an antismoker. Smokers become isolated from antismokers, but not from each other. If antismokers shun smokers, then smokers will equally shun antismokers.
And in many cases, it may well be the formerly-accepted but now shunned antismokers who end up the most isolated. Perhaps this might be another example of “self-induced isolation”.
But aside from all that, the article is based on another paper which starts with the words:
Little is known about the consequences of tobacco smoking stigma on smokers and how smokers may internalize smoking-related stigma.
They don’t know much about the effects of stigmatisation? You’d think they’d know a great deal about it. But when you read that they’ve done a “review of almost 600 articles”, you realise that they’re looking in the Tobacco Control literature.
They’re not going out onto the streets and asking smokers questions, which is what I (along with a number assistants) was doing with the ISIS social impact survey of smokers. I didn’t just get completed forms, but I also had a bunch of very interesting conversations with smokers.
But they’re not doing that. They’re reading the literature that’s been produced inside Tobacco Control, complete with its nonsensical “self-induced social isolation” and “smoking self-stigma” by smokers.
And to the extent that they’re reading Tobacco Control literature, rather than going and asking smokers questions, they are simply employing existing Tobacco Control dogma – a bit like some Communist who, when he wants to learn about the working class, doesn’t go and talk to working class people, but reads Marx or Lenin instead.
Lastly, the article includes the following passage:
These types of social control strategies, which are employed in an effort to reduce the prevalence and incidence of smoking and reduce exposure of non-smokers to second-hand and third-hand smoking may actually further marginalize ‘residual smokers’ who may be more disadvantaged and have fewer resources to help them quit.
I highlight two places in this passage. Firstly, the author doesn’t seem to wish to “further marginalize” smokers. But it seems to me that the entire purpose of Tobacco Control is to isolate, marginalise, and stigmatise smokers to the greatest extent possible: they want to drive smokers out of society as thoroughly and completely as they possibly can.
But also the reference to “social control strategies” reveals that this is all about control. They’re engaged in social engineering. They want to control people. But you knew that already, didn’t you.