Smokers Sometimes Have Double Standards

Double standards exist in every society and group, but it is amusing to observe how these often play out. A humorous hot guy at a party might be able to get away with saying borderline offensive comments to people because he can laugh it off as joking, whereas someone else might get in trouble for it. The same is true on forums and the Internet, but I think it is just a phenomenon of society really. People do not set out to create double standards, but these pop up most expectantly.

In my life I have often come to accept that double standards are everywhere, but from time to time it is funny to see how some get away with what others cannot. In high school there was that classmate who ditched class almost every day, but still aced the class. On the other hand there would be the students that sat in class asking questions, studying hard, but who would end up with a lower grades than the person who was never there. I even knew people who bragged about not showing up for the final but still got a C in the class, whereas another friend struggled through the entire class and ended up with the same grade. For a long time I have thought part of the grade should more heavily rely on effort and attendance because a few brilliant souls can easily pass any course, whereas others come everyday and might struggle with their studies, but often end up with the same or lower grade as those with lackluster attendance. Honestly I think it is more commendable to put in that Hercelean effort, and five years down the line these individuals will probably cherish the class more than those who never attended.

The same is true for the Internet where double standards pop up from time to time. People have no qualms calling a blatant spammer a spammer, and a few even say they hate spammers. It is okay to say you hate people that clog up your inbox, but one person said they hated smokers, some can get overly sensitive about it. I am an overly sensitive person myself, but I was able to see through the comment that "I hate smokers" did not mean he hated people. Some people do not like smoking and have strong opinions about it, whereas others do smoke and take offense to anyone alluding to how they may hate smokers.

Okay, once my friend and I even said we hated smokers, but that was because everyone had to walk through the commons area at our university, which was lined with benches where almost half of the students smoked. Talk about stinky! Since it was outside and a few feet away from the building people were allowed to do this, but for those of us who could not stand aroma, it really clogged our lungs. It got to the point I was willing to walk the long away around the building as opposed to smelling all of that putrid air. So in jest my friend and I once said we hated smokers, but that was just because we had to walk through their cloud every afternoon to get to class.

Sorry if smokers take that personally, but from time to time there are double standards about smoking. This has subsided since the mid-nineties when I was an undergrad, but even today at bus stops people smoke out in the open. I literally start choking when several people all light up there, and to me it seems that it would not be allowed because it is a place in public where people wait for buses. I actually started walking longer distances because I hated all the smoking people using public transportation engaged in.

Many of us complained to the transportation company about the gagging stench, but seeing the bus driver light up made us realize it must be okay. The bus stop is outside and away from buildings, so I suppose smoking is allowed. To me it seems like a double standard some smokers complain about their rights to smoke inside and smoke in general, when even outside we have to put up with the stench of their aroma.

Honestly for exercise and cleaner air I decided it was just easier to walk the three miles home rather than wait twenty to thirty minutes at a bus stop clogged with smokers. This is one of the several times I have gone the long way to avoid cigarette smoke, but I would rather do this than breath it in.

Another reason I hate smoking is because growing up my dad felt the need to smoke and treat himself to many luxuries, like cigarettes, but he would lecture my mom about driving into the city to buy things we needed. "Why can't you not get it here in town?" he would implore, but when he wanted something, well he always bought it. His double standards went beyond cigarettes and that is not what this is all about, but often others get away with what others cannot. Years later he realized treating his friends to lunch and socializing with them more than his family was a loss since they have all moved on with their lives and left him behind, but it took me a long time to get over this hurt. By the time I was thirty I did not care anymore, but I can tell any parents who smoke that your kids probably have some really strong feelings against it. However, that is just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

So, if someone says they hate smokers on a forum, please do not get overly upset about it. Other people have their equally strong opinions about certain issues, but if it comes to a sensitive topic like smoking, I have noticed people get very upset about it. I do not think anyone would be upset if someone said they hate spammers on a forum. I really, really hate cheese, but I doubt the cheesemakers of the world will take offense to that. I even hate it when people put a cheesy item on my plate, but that does not mean I hate the person. Sometimes hate is a word that is overused to express detest of a certain thing, not hatred of a person.

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Comments 27 comments

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Interesting pespective. You are so right, of course

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Some may think I am wrong too, but it is just something I have observed. We anyone reall object to saying someone hated spammers? Personally it is better to not use the word hate, but have we become so sensitive that someone cannot express their detest of smoking, when others express their detest of spammers.

Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

My son is a smoker and it drives me nuts, but I don't hate him for it. I tell him that he is a victim and he cigarette companies will use him up. Second hand smoke is a problem and it is one that smokers do not want to face.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Pete,

I do not hate anyone for smoking either, but when someone says they hate smokers I highly doubt they literally mean they hate people that smoke, but they hate the practice.  Many have said they hate spammers, and never have I heard anyone take offense to saying that. 

To me it is a double standard that people say they hate spammers or even joke about hating certain other pests on the forums, but a few were overly upset just because one person said they hated smokers.  I have said I hate telemarketers, but I do not hate them personally, I just get annoyed with their incessant calls at all the wrong times.

I think that one little comment was blown way out of proportion because smoking is such a sensitive topic on both sides.

Cherish77 profile image

Cherish77 7 years ago

Funny how we have to watch what we say to be PC. I hate being PC,lol.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Cherish,

For the most part I do not mind being PC, but when it comes to a smoker becoming all sensitive about someone not liking their habit, then that is just over the top. I know what you mean though :).

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Double standards are alive and well in all areas of life. Good article and I can appreciate your point of view on the subject matter.

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

As kids develop, and as a teacher, I was faced with trying to explain this concept to 1st graders. Heck, even adults don't understand it...LOL My answer to my kids in class was something like "you'll be much happier if you save your energy and tears for big things; there will always be someone cutting in front of you..."

It's much more profitable and less time consuming, I would say to kids in class and kids in my home, to be an example of "decency" and "courtesy" and "fairness" in the face of those who are not, then to waste your feelings over small problems that will not be resolved.

However, that doesn't mean that sometimes we have to fight a battle over unfair policies and practices, it's just that we need to weigh what's important to us...and march to that drum.

=)) great points....

C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana


I here you. Good job and interesting thoughts. thanks for sharing.

dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

Interesting read and I do agree with is important for teachers to help children understand not to go in for the overkill, with every little thing.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Thanks for reading and commenting.


You are amazing with kids, and I commend you for being able to instill a sense of fairness and deceny is so many. You deserver a reward for this.

C.S. Alexis,

I appreciate your stopping by and adding to the discussion.


Marisue is a great teacher, you are very right about that. We are lucky to have people like her.

Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

I totally know what you mean about the hate word. It's funny because my youngest daughter is taking issues with that word. It makes her feel bad when peopole say it. She apparently feels its strength. She prefers it if people said what they meant, like upset, or peeved, or disgruntled, or not happy with, etc. So it's been quite a topic over hear and we are all using more specific words to talk about our feelings in general to get the point across just so.

As for double standards, I don't see that there will ever not be one, as unfair as it is. And that's about at far as I can go with that unless I want to write a hub in the comments section LOL.

I loved this. Thanks.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


I am one of those hubbers that really enjoys reading long comments, so if you have more to add I understand.  Hate is really an overused word, and it is better for us to be more specific.  I can understand kids being sensitive about its overuse too, especially since sometimes kids can just use that word to be a little snide towards each other.

With adults I think they should stop to think well maybe the person who says they hate smokers is not so literal in their meaning.  I have accidentally said I hated smokers on a few occasions when I got irritated with a large number of them congregating around the walk way, but in the years since I try not to say that.  I still say I hate telemarketers, but I highly doubt anyone grows up wanting to be one.  Of course I never would tell a telemarketer I hate them on the phone either, that is just mean.

Kushal Poddar profile image

Kushal Poddar 7 years ago from Kolkata,India

In this relative world of internet your words have importance.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yes Kushal, but I am not sure exactly what you mean by this comment.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

Helo Sweetiepe! Good job and I is difficult to live in a world with double standards and I, being an ex smoker, feel I would not be hypocritical to say "I hate smokers" but the PC term I need to use is "I hate cigarettes and the smoke it produces" A question for another article may be "Would you be establishing a double standard if you walked in front of the smoking students on MON, WED, SAT holding your nose and gagging but on the other four days you walked by the same group without any reaction at all?" HAHA that would be a cool philospohical writing exercise eh?

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Interesting philosophical exercise, but honestly people who choke around cigarette smoke are not going to do that a few days of the week, and then not have a reaction the next few days. Some people are truly allergic to cigarette smoke, and I am not sure if I am one, but I also choke and cannot breath when I am around other over powering smells. The logic of that philosophical writing assignment sort is amiss with me because I really see no one ever doing that, just to let you know :).

Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Hi SweetiePie

A very interesting Hub - it is certainly very easy to be misunderstood over the internet. Communication lacks the body language and subtle cues that face-to-face conversation has.

PS - I saw your comment on the Church forum, and I liked it, but respect your decision to delete it. You are far too nice!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Sufi,

I just deleted it because I know I was going to implicate myself in more of an argument with that person. I wrote a hub about it instead. I appreciate your comments though :).

Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

I just saw the hub, so I am going to have a read!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Okay thanks Sufi. It is nothing earth shattering, just a way to get my thoughts out without engaging in more discussions on the religion forum.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa

Unfortunately, Double standards are alive and well in all walks of life. You show me yours and I'll show mine and we will end up disagreeing and I concur that "hate" is a much overused word. Good interesting hub.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Sixtyorso,

Double standars alive and well perhaps, but sometimes these can be highly exagerated. Thanks for stopping by!

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Scott.Life 7 years ago

Double standards only limit us if we choose to let it. But you have a great point. Always some thing interesting on your hubs

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Good point Scott. We can only limit ourselves if we allow this to happen!

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ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

People do over use the word hate. Love is also a word that gets over used. I love lasgna but I wouldn't marry it.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Both get overused, but it is amusing how smokers take offense if you mention you do not like the smell of their delightful cigarettes. I am not a fan of smoking, so I guess I will just leave it at that.

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