Did y’all see this article in Contexts:
What a truly bizarre argument, presented apparently without irony (intentionally at least). The article assumes, without demonstrating in any way, that the evidence that smoking causes health problems is incorrect or trumped up; it then goes on to call upon sociologists to “recognize, analyze, and (perhaps even) disrupt the public attack on smoking and smokers.” The rhetoric is overheated to the point of silliness; the author implies that smokers are denigrated while cocaine and heroin users and rifle-carriers are left to roam the streets.
The punch-line, though, is the claim that the spread of “no smoking” rules impedes the “open spaces of conviviality.” Again: no evidence offered whatsoever.
Sociology can’t succumb to the totalitarian medical views toward cigarette smokers. Sociology is meaningless if we allow other fields of social knowledge tell us what the precise meaning of “public” is. Public life and the rituals of group solidarity should be kept alive, free from excessive forms of social control.
The article reads like a complaint letter from a disgruntled smoker. I thought sociologists were supposed to offer some kind of evidence to support arguments in professional publications!