Although the negative consequences of smoking are well-known when it comes to health, a new study shows that the practice can also take its toll on one's social standing. According to USA Today, a recent survey found that one in four people lose respect for a person if they smoke – more than a 10 percent rise compared to the 1990s.
The Gallup poll also revealed a number of other interesting tidbits. Perhaps most surprising is that even among people who currently smoke, 5 percent of respondents said they had less respect for people who did so. This is no small figure considering 19.3 percent of the U.S. population smokes.
Despite the seemingly high numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study that shows smoking is on the decline in the United States. Specifically, the government found that about 3 million fewer people smoke today than in 2005, and those who still smoke are doing so in smaller quantities.
"Just because someone has already failed once, twice or more doesn't mean they can't be successful the next time. We know that now," Patrick Reynolds, founder of the non-profit Foundation for a Smokefree America, told the publication. "Failed attempts are part of the normal journey toward becoming a non-smoker."
The figures could be indicative that the numerous anti-smoking campaigns across the country are working. For instance, hundreds of colleges in the United States have banned smoking from their campuses, while earlier this summer the FDA mandated that cigarette boxes have new, more graphic, warning labels that feature photos of diseased lungs and corpses.