First, there is no such thing as a “smoker”. No one is born with a pack of Marlboros in their hands. Smoking is not innate. Breathing is. Using the word “smoker” creates the impression of an innate characteristic which is to be accorded certain rights. If we want to get rid of the impression that smoking is a right, it only makes sense, doesn’t it, to use language that dissolves the impression that it is. The inculcation through language that smoking is a state of being, rather than an activity, also can make it harder for someone to free themselves of their addiction. It is after all harder to quit being something than doing something. If every journal would make an editorial decision to not print this word, other than as a quote, we would go a long way towards reducing tobacco use. [emphasis added]
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Mind their language!
Reframing the debate for Tobacco Control: