Resolution on Terminology



Whereas Public Health is best served when greater portions of the population accept its messages, and


Whereas marginalizing any portion of the public through the use of polarizing labels undermines an otherwise positive message, and


Whereas language both expresses thoughts and shapes them, and


Whereas the term “smoker” creates through language the perception of a separate “class” where no such class legally exists, and


Whereas smoking is a consumer choice, not a condition of birth, and


Whereas the term “smoker” generally carries negative connotations, and


Whereas labeling and categorizing people has lead to incredible human suffering and injustice, and


Whereas it our message is that it is tobacco and secondhand smoke that are harmful, not the individuals that use them, and


Whereas the tobacco industry harms all people, not just those who smoke, and


Whereas we believe that it is important to recognize the dignity of all persons, regardless of their smoking status,


We, ___________________ resolve to eliminate the term “smoker” whenever possible, from our communications.  We resolve instead to discuss the issue of smoking, where smoking occurs and how all human beings are harmed by the use of commercial tobacco.

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