Out of Control Policy Blog

Friendlier to fatness, but how about smoking?

All sorts of groups claim to be "the last socially acceptable target of discrimination." How is the social tide turning when it comes to two groups vying for this distinction?

Slate's Michael Saletan sees an erosion in social norms that frown on fatness. Case in point:

    In a 1985 survey by the NPD group, 55 percent of U.S. adults agreed that "[a] person who is not overweight is a lot more attractive." By 2005, only 24 percent agreed. The firm concluded, "Perhaps Americans have found that the easiest way to deal with their weight is to change their attitude."

Meanwhile, Michael Siegel points to a new Gallup survey, which finds that nearly half of smokers (47%) feel unjustly discriminated against as a result of public smoking restrictions. That's up from 32% in 2001. But there's also this wrinkle:

    The majority of Americans (58%) continue to feel sympathetic toward smokers, which represents no change from 2001.

Check out "the rest of the story" from Siegel, which includes some interesting musings on whether anti-smoking groups might be stepping out of line with public sentiment.

Related: LA Bans Puffing in Parks

Related: They would never--wait, they already have

Ted Balaker is Producer


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