Of Smoke and Cake

1147 Words5 Pages
Smokers Get a Raw Deal by Stanley S. Scott addresses the issue of whether there is discrimination against smokers in the United States. Scott believes that there is negative discrimination in the U.S. that infringes the rights of the citizens. One can find that although the writer believes he presents a secure case, he fails to understand the definition of “discrimination.” In the article, Scott essentially asks the readers to heed the ways in which laws, especially antismoking laws, are established. This could have been a good argument were it not for the bombardment of fallacies and incidents taken out of context. He only presents one premise, that laws facilitate the segregation between smokers and nonsmokers, and consequently allow organized crimes harassing smokers to occur. The grounds for his premises are weak, as he does not provide concrete and reliable information to support his cause. Scott’s basic premise is that laws encourage the violation of smokers’ rights. He begins his argument with, “The Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and a host of anti-discrimination laws notwithstanding...” With that commencement, Scott proves that he does not understand the concept of discrimination. He continues by claiming that denying housing and employment for smokers is a form of public hostility. This is a false analogy, and where Scott uses the term “discrimination” in an inappropriate manner. Racial and ethnic discrimination is different because people do not choose to be a certain race like choosing to be a smoker. Furthermore, people do not negatively affect others in their vicinity with secondhand ethnicity. By stating that nonsmokers “force their beliefs on the rest of society,” Scott suggests that smokers are victims of violences, and are threatened with restriction of the First Amendment. Smoking is not an issue about beliefs, it is concerning the
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