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Saúde e Sociedade

Print version ISSN 0104-1290


SPINK, Mary Jane P.. Smokers in an anti-tobacco world: reflections on risks and social exclusion. Saude soc. [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.3, pp.481-496. ISSN 0104-1290.

This research was conducted in the context of present-day measures to curb the use of tobacco so as to explore the meanings that smokers attribute to smoking and the manner in which pressure for cessation of smoking are experienced. Based on 50 interviews carried out with different segments of a university in São Paulo, Brazil (teachers, office workers, outsourced employees, undergraduate and graduate students), the analysis focused on three aspects: why people smoke, the ambivalence between pleasure and risks associated with tobacco, and smokers' discrimination experiences. It concludes that in a public health perspective it is imperative to inform the public about risks associated with tobacco, confront ill effects with the seduction of the cigarette industry's marketing and offer means for tobacco cessation. However, it is also necessary to understand the smokers' point of view, for whom tobacco is still a legal drug that provides many positive effects but causes physical and psychological dependency; therefore, those who wish to stop smoking face many difficulties. This scenario of manifold difficulties raises the question of whether smoking can be classed as a risky lifestyle for which approaches of harm reduction might be pertinent.

Keywords : Risky Lifestyles; Smoking; Discursive Practices.

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