Surprise, surprise! A YouGov survey on smoking which was not buried inside a survey about the ideal size of herds of cows!
I took the precaution on this occasion of scribbling down the questions. I thought that it might be fun to ‘read them out’ and see where they led to. You see, it is often the case with such surveys that they start off in a simple way and then gradually lead you along one path or another, depending upon you replies.
My scribblings are not verbatim of course – it would take too long to do justice to the convolutions of language.
Q1. Do you smoke cigarettes?
Q2. Do you intend to stop now or later?
Ans: I do not intend to change my habits at all.
Q3. How many cigs do you smoke? (Alternatives in 5 cigs increases up to 40+ per day)
Ans: 40 +.
Q4. When did you first start smoking?
Ans: Can’t remember.
Q5. Which would you like to do? Stop smoking – get a new job (!) – drink less alcohol – lose weight – get a better future (!).
Q6. Why do you smoke? Alleviate stress – concentration – sociability – friends smoke – none of these.
Ans: None of these (why no ‘because I enjoy it’?)
Q7. Are you happy with your body shape? (Various alternatives from ‘very happy’ down)
Ans: Very happy.
Q8. Which parts of your body are fattest? !!!
Q9. Agree or disagree – “Fear of weight gain puts me off quitting”
Ans: Not at all.
Q10. How would you feel if you gained weight after quitting?
Ans: Not applicable – no intention of quitting.
Q11. Do you worry more about the adverse health effects of smoking or the weight gain of quitting?
Ans: Not applicable – no worries.
Q13. Which of the following statements do you most agree with.
a) Quitting causes weight gain.
b) Does not cause weight gain.
c) don’t know.
Q14. If you quit, which of the following would help you not to gain weight? (Various alternatives such as chewing gum etc)
I wonder who YouGov’s client is? I should have paid more attention to the last question. I do not recall off-hand any specific implications in the suggested answers which might be useful to, say, Big Pharm, but I may be wrong. I really did not pay much attention because one does not know that that is the last question until one has answered it.
My first impression was that this was the usual ASH-type survey, but, having read the questions again, it certainly seems to very much about weight control.
See what I mean about being led?