Table 1 Description and prevalence of representational categories of the smoker in a sample of 618 smoking-related articles from The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, from 1995 to 2005
Representational category (RC) titleRC prevalence n = 618RC descriptionRC indicative example*
Smoker as regulated citizenn = 268 43.4%Smokers who are affected by smoking regulationsEvery day you see them: a congregation outside office buildings, grabbing five minutes to draw back a few, smoke-filled breaths before they return to their desks. Outdoor smoke breaks are the phenomenon of the 1990s. The Age, 02.01.99, page 1 (news article)
Smoker at riskn = 162 26.2%Smokers are more at risk of disease and death than non-smokersThe study found smokers were twice as likely to suffer complications after surgery, compared with non-smokers. Also, smokers were more than five times more likely to contract wound infections requiring more treatment or more time in hospital. 27.08.01, page 5 (news article)
Smoker as free agentn = 125 20.2%Smokers who experience an unregulated smoking environmentSmoke-free pubs, thankfully, are still a rarity in Victoria, and long may they remain so. With the collapse of organised religion, the notion of the pub-as-sanctuary has gained a special place in the hearts of smokers. People smoke in pubs. That’s what pubs are for. To walk into a pub and complain about the smoking is about as logical as walking into Hades and complaining about the heat. The Age, 31.05.98, page 6 (column)
Smoker as selfish pollutern = 122 19.7%Smokers produce dangerous environmental tobacco smoke, which can cause negative health effects in those exposed to itMusician Joe Camilleri, a non-smoker, knows the drawbacks of performing in smoky pubs and bars only too well, having done it for the past 30-odd years. “I did a show a couple of weeks ago and I felt like I was on fire”, Camilleri says. “The smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and my body didn’t relate to it very well for the first 20 minutes. You start to feel instantly claustrophobic”. The Age, 26.05.00, page 14 (news article)
Smoker as statisticn = 118 19.1%The individual habits of smokers and increases in smoking rates at a population levelA study by the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria’s Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer has found that, in 1996, smoking among 12- to 15-year-old boys and 16- and 17-year-old girls increased compared with 1993. It estimated that, in 1996, there were 131 000 school-aged boys smoking and 145 000 girls. 11.06.99, page 6 (news article)
Smoker as supported potential quittern = 116 18.8%Smokers can be supported to quit by the government, nicotine replacement therapies, health organisations, family and friendsThe Quit program yesterday used New Year’s Day to launch a campaign to make more Victorian homes smoke-free. The Trash Your Ashtray campaign encouraged smokers to give up their ashtrays, which were then crushed by a compacter outside the General Post Office. The shards were swept up for use in a sculpture. The Age, 02.01.97, page 3 (news article)
Smoker as tobacco industry pawnn = 105 17.0%The tobacco industry has deceived smokers by advertising smoking as attractive and sophisticated in full knowledge of its addictive and lethal propertiesThe 41-year-old from Blaxland started smoking when she was 10, seduced by advertising and some dubious homespun wisdom. “The Alpine lady was gorgeous, the Marlboro man was gorgeous. It was all so country, free, beautiful, fresh”, she said yesterday. The Age, 22.12.03, page 4 (news article)
Smoker as quittern = 85 13.8%Individual smokers who are intending to quit, attempting to quit or who have quitI’ve given up smoking. Lots of times. The most recent occasion was Monday, week before last. The time before that, I used nicotine chewing gum and managed six weeks. This time I used semi-dried fruit, cheese biscuits, 16 bite-sized Milky Ways, a packet of nicotine-free, tobacco-free Ginseng herbal cigarettes and sheer, steely willpower. The Age, 31.05.98, page 6 (column)
Smoker as tobacco industry litigantn = 79 12.8%The smoker who is engaging the tobacco industry in lawsuits to get compensation for tobacco-related illnessJazz lover Margaret Peterson’s smouldering 40-year affair with cigarettes has taken her breath away. Now, Ms Peterson wants to see the companies behind Australia’s deadliest habit brought to account in court. “I would hate to see anybody else go through what I did this last couple of years because, to be perfectly frank, I didn’t want to live a lot of the time”, she said. Ms Peterson is one of more than a thousand Australians suing the tobacco giants Philip Morris, Rothmans and WD & HO Wills for damages in a historic class action. The Age, 17.05.99, page 4 (news article)
Smoker as vulnerable youthn = 76 12.3%Youth need to be protected and educated so they do not take up smoking as a result of the influence of external influences—such as peer group pressureFor Clinton, protecting youth from the ravages of nicotine fits perfectly with his attempt to reshape himself as a president protecting family values …Now he wants America’s teenagers to grow up smoke-free, protected from the seductive advances of Joe Camel. The Age, 30.08.96, page 9 (column)
Smoker as drain on the economyn = 62 10.0%Smokers require smoke breaks and health resources resulting from smoking-related disease, which is costly to the government, workplaces and the taxpayerEmployees who regularly duck out for cigarette breaks are causing resentment among non-smoking colleagues, according to a survey. An Internet poll of 6000 people by recruitment agency TMP Worldwide found that 71 per cent believed that those taking regular smoke breaks were abusing company time. The Age, 05.03.02, page 7 (news article)
Smoker as nicotine addictn = 579.2%Smokers are dependent on smoking because they are addicted to nicotine. As a result of nicotine addiction, it is hard to quit. Smokers should not be condemned because of the challenges they face in breaking the addictionSean Penn unhooks the tubes connecting his nostrils to an oxygen tank, slumps down on the toilet seat and lights a cigarette. Sucking hard, he exhales with a cough and fans the air with his hand to hide the smoky evidence. Penn’s character in the movie 21 Grams is about to die from heart failure, but he’s still got to have a gasper. The Age, 09.02.04, page 2 (column)
Smoker as beneficiary of the positive functions of smokingn = 538.6%Smoking can provide functions that are valued by the smoker, such as assisting with stress management, and allows access to positive images associated with smoking—such as glamour and rebellionFor better or worse, smoking is seen as an important social tool. Anyone who has observed a group of unacquainted first-year university students on a break will know exactly what I mean. As boring as it might sound, smoking is an effective ice-breaker in today’s society. The Age, 03.06.98, page 14 (letter)
  • *The indicative example is followed by the publication date of the newspaper the article appeared in and specification of the article type: news article, editorial, column or letter.