From South Africa: Would you pick up a hitch hiker that was smoking?
Knowing he has thumped the butt into the tall grass around him without
caring? Knowing he would gladly get into your motor car with his lit
cigarette? No you would not. this ethically denies him the assistance he
Then why would we assist the smokers wanting
you to help them when the same ethics apply? No, rather help someone truly
in need, not someone feeding an addiction in lieu of buying something for
his loved ones that may need a lot more that he needs a pack of cigarettes.
Again, we see what depravity the tobacco
industry inflicts on man.
From California: Interesting
placards. I take a sympathetic view of anyone who is in need, because I
feel that 'there but for the grace of God go I', but when they are holding a
cigarette, this just about negates any message they might be trying to send,
mixed signals. I can't quite read the sign the guy on the right is holding.
Appears to be asking for help for his family, holding a cigarette?
might be a good way to focus
on the connection between tobacco as the main preventable cause of poverty
in its roll as stealer of health.
THEIR LIFESTYLE HAS IN SOME WAYS CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR PLIGHT. SORRY I CANNOT
HELP THEM TO BY MORE "DEATH" (CIGARETTES).
Ethical? My answer would be, yes - if they are truly willing. If this
isn't ethical, than it wouldn't be ethical to utilize convicted drunk
drivers to speak to school groups, or utilize mentoring programs that
offer advice/testimonials from those who have chosen the wrong path.
To me, the use of a smoker - especially a homeless, poor and addicted
smoker is not in the least unethical. It highlights what could happen to
unsuspecting teens who are still convinced that 'smoking is cool'.
The problem to me is not ethics, it's in finding sincere takers. A
person may say yes, they'll talk to kids....but will you know their
character and commitment level? Are they sane, addicted, or looking for a
quick buck? Will their insincerity show through? What if your background
check doesn't reveal that they are a child molester, or schizophrenic?
Are you opening your program up for liability risks?
I had an experience when I was a teen that really colors my opinion. My
social studies class was visited by a 'court appointed' drug user as part
of his sentence (which included one year of incarceration in a local
facility). He discussed what he had done, how he had gotten caught and
what it was like in jail. He was doing such a good job that his guard and
the social studies teacher decided to take a break in the hallway. During
the next 15 minutes our class learned how to find drugs, how to use drugs
and was even given instructions on how to find the best 'dealer'.
If paying them would help them "kick the habit" and get help, it might not
be a bad ideal!
From Oregon Newspaper:
Not sure. Against tobacco or funds used to grow it.
If you'd like to write an opinion we may
think it would turn most people off by having homeless and panhandlers
being paid for anti-tobacco work.
I believe there are more than enough nonsmokers who are down on their
and we should be helping them. Also, you stand the chance of finding
who will really do the job well because they don't like tobacco smoke,
As stated by others, it is risky to do such a project with current
The drug user was a good example that some haven't even learned from
jail experience. However, the drunk may have been a reformed drinker
may have been useful.
Some who beg make more than other people doing regular jobs (especially
after taxes are taken out). Some like those in the photos may require
money than minimum wage to get them away from begging. Beggars may be
unsightly, but that is a heck of alot better than stealing.
Thus, I am not sure if it is or is not ethical to use such smokers to
campaign against smoking, but their smoking may get in the way of the
message, and their hearts probably won't be in it enough. It would be
better to use nonsmokers, or those who have quit smoking and who need
support to stay tobacco-free.
From an AWESOME Kentucky newspaper reporter:
Hi Mike. I'm glad to hear from you. I hope things are going well and
that you and your family had a good holiday season.
As for your question on whether ethical to have people who are
homeless or publicly asking for help carry messages against tobacco, I
would say yes. I see nothing wrong with it if the people are willing to
do it. It might defeat the purpose if they're also smoking cigarettes
while they're carrying an anti-tobacco sign, but I think any legal
method for getting the message out is acceptable.
is important to look for opportunities to convey public health
messages to a variety of individuals in a variety of circumstances in
life, you have to be careful not be viewed as exploiting individuals
simply because of their current circumstances in life. I think, if
done incorrectly, tobacco control advocates could be viewed as taking
advantage of less fortunate individuals, for whom tobacco use is
probably one of their least concerns when compared to the need for
shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. I think a more fruitful
avenue of pursue, if the goal is to try and engage and reach out to
homeless individuals who do often have co-morbid conditions (substance
abuse, mental illness, alcohol and tobacco use), would be to engage
established providers of care to homeless populations (shelters,
meals-on-wheels, MH/SA case work professionals) and educate them about
the need to reduce prevalence of tobacco use among the homeless. It
is an intriguing idea you have proposed, but one I fear is potentially
filled with many negatives that could outweigh the benefits.
Hi, Mike! Nice to hear from you, and hope all is well with you and
your family! As to whether or not it is ethical to pay these people
to do public advertising against smoking, I do not think it is ethical
since I am of the opinion that life is full of choices, and these
people made their choice for their life, with knowledge, which was the
wrong choice. I don't think they should be paid to do this now. It's
nice that they want to get the information out now; however, they
obviously did not listen to the warnings regarding the dangers of
smoking at some point in their life.