Some people feel that our society is moving toward regarding cigarette smoking as deviant. Before determining whether it is true or not, there is a need to define what is deviant. According to the Oxford dictionary (2008), deviant means “different from what most people consider to be normal and acceptable” (p. 547). What does it mean? To tell what is deviant and how to determine if an act is deviant, different scholars would use different approaches, for example: biological, psychological, and sociological. In this paper, I would like to focus on the sociological theories.
In the view of sociologists, deviant is relativistic. Deviant behaviours are behaviours that violate the accepted norms of the culture or
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First, cigarette contains substance that is psychoactive, e.g. nicotine. Second, cigarette is recreational, i.e. cigarette smoking is aimed to achieve a certain mental or psychic state. Third, smoking induces a physical dependence in the smoker, which means addiction. When a heavy, long-term smoker decided to leave smoking, severe withdrawal symptoms, for example, dizziness, headache, poor concentration, and so on, would be resulted. Last, in some cases, smokers display a pattern of behavioral dependence, they smokes heavily without regard to the social cost to themselves and to others whom they care for. Concerning the above four, there is no difference between cigarette smoking and drug use, which would also show the above features.
However, most of the time, we would not say cigarette is drug. There are few reasons: First, public does not consider cigarette is a drug; second, most people do not think cigarette smoking is deviant; third, under most situation, the sale and purchase of cigarette is not a crime. People can buy cigarette in the supermarkets, convenient stores, etc.
But those were the days. Something has changed. Few decades ago, smoking is no harm to human, according to our inadequate knowledge. Instead, smoking gives us a sense of pleasure, and if you are not a smoker, you are a bit outdated. It is not unusual to see the cigarette advertisement on the street, on television, in the newspaper, so forth. However, when