A Possible Reason for the Attacks on Ecigs

This post must necessarily be seen as somewhat tongue in cheek.

First, let us briefly consider the results of the Doll Doctors Study regarding the health effects of smoking on ‘light’ smokers. Light smokers were defined as 1 – 14 cigs per day.

Doll graph again

The above graph is the best I could do in converting a Doll graph and it is not as good as it could be, but it gives the idea. (I really ought to do it again)

The green line on the extreme right is non-smoker deaths. The line next to it is ‘light’ smokers (up to 14 cigs per day). You can see at a glance that there is not a lot of difference. For example, at the age of 60, some 8% of non-smokers were dead whereas some 10% of light smokers were dead.  At 70, some 20% of non-smokers were dead as compared with some 30% of light smokers. Why had 20% of non-smokers died? Did they die prematurely in comparison with other non-smokers and smokers generally? Why did they die? THEY WERE NON-SMOKERS!

My point is that light smoking is not very dodgy.


Now …. Let us think. Until the appearance of ecigs as a popular commodity, the facts were:

1. Wealthy people were not affected by price.

2. Heavy smokers sought sources of fags which were worth venturing abroad for.

3. Light smokers carried on buying from local shops and put up with price increases. Also, they were likely not to be able to venture abroad.

The result of the above has been an inflexible demand for fags in the light smoking area, bearing in mind that the average number of cigs smoked per day in the UK is 17. This inflexible demand is what the Gov relies upon for it tobacco tax income.


Who are the people most likely to take up ecigs? In terms of health, it ought to be heavy smokers, but is that the reality? I do not know. My gut feeling is that it is the light smokers who are moving to ecigs predominantly.  Has there been any research? There may have been, but it might not have been published.

It is the light smokers who continue to pay exorbitant prices for cigs. No heavy smoker in his right mind would do so. A couple of years ago, when I ran out of cheap(er) fags from Spain, I was forced to buy fags in this country. I was horrified! Despite the difficulties of having herself cared for, I went over to Belgium with the guys from N2D asap. A light smoker would not have done that. Such a person has already decided to grovellingly accept the theft of his money.

Ecigs may have changed that scenario. They may have eroded the light smoker inelasticity of demand. It may well be that the major change to ecigs is coming from light smokers, who see cost as a major factor. If that is true, then Government has a big problem. The inelacticity of demand among light smokers is what contributes most to government coffers, and not heavy smokers. When light smokers move to ecigs in vast numbers, then tax income falls dramatically. Ecigs have the potential to erode tobacco taxes exponentially, especially if tax rates are increased.

Recently, I investigated the tax take from cigs and booze. It is hard to find figures which differentiate between to the two. But I did find figures which showed that cig purchases have been falling, even though the tax take has held up.


You can see that the situation is very fluid. But you can also see why the New Aristocrats would want to slow down the growth of the ecig industry.

But I don’t care. I have arrived at a way of life which works for me. I do not need the help of the bastards.

If I do not need it, why does the Gov need it?



21 Responses to “A Possible Reason for the Attacks on Ecigs”

  1. toko online alat kesehatan dan alat kedokteran Says:

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  2. Frank J Says:

    I refer to your graph above on many occasions. It’s simple and far more instructive than anything else I’ve seen. It, certainly, has a future. Refinement would definitely be in order.

  3. A Possible Reason for the Attacks on Ecigs | Va... Says:

    […] This post must necessarily be seen as somewhat tongue in cheek. First, let us briefly consider the results of the Doll Doctors Study regarding the health effects of smoking on 'light' smokers. Ligh…  […]

  4. Rose Says:

    I’m rather interested in the zero nicotine e-cigarettes, you rarely hear those mentioned and even anti-tobacco would be hard pressed to class them as medical devices.

    I think I would very much enjoy breathing lemon and lime flavoured vapour, on a hot sunny day in the garden, accompanied by a glass of iced lemonade.

    • beobrigitte Says:

      Rose, last month I did a little experiment for 1 week. I visited a non-smoker who, despite not being keen on the smell of tobacco smoke, will always provide me with an ashtray. This time I told her that I was going to try e-cigs; I wanted to see how strong an “urge” to go outside to smoke I would experience.
      One of the e-cigs was a non-nicotine, cherry flavour one. It produced the most “smoke” of all and I LOVED it!!!
      I am curious with respect to tobacco control justifying a law on these! (other than the wailing: “But…but… e-cigs REMIND people of SMOKING – and worse even, they vape in the presence of non-smokers!!!!!)

      Also, visiting pubs/coffee places with ASHTRAYS on the tables brought home to me HOW uncomfortable english pubs/coffee places have become.
      I went on a shopping spree – and needed to borrow the HUGE suitcase of my friend – and pay a bomb to get it on the plane!! I usually HATE shopping (only survivable with coffe&ciggie breaks) in England, so I don’t do it.
      I also stacked up on tobacco – I’m glad I did!!! This government has just allowed tobacco control to invade MY property – so I take it that the government does not want me to buy 3-4x 50gr. Amberleaf/week here.

      I stretch my tobacco supply with E-Lites right now; also stacking up a supply on cartridges. By now I have 11 batteries – courtesy of the seller! More shall be added. My next visitors are due to arrive the end of March – naturally they do know that the host appreciates “American Spirit” or “Pueblo” the most. And LOTS OF IT!!!

  5. garyk30 Says:

    Curious paradox about light smokers and heavy(25+/day)smokers.

    Light smokers were more apt to die from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking.

    Table on page 3 of the summary shows that:
    87% of light smokers deaths were from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking

    84% of the heavy smokers deaths were from those same diseases.

    84% was also the percentage of never-smokers deaths from those diseases.

    • beobrigitte Says:

      Gary, brilliant!!

      This would (just quicky applied “thumb ruler” – feel free to correct!!!) place all 3 into the 95% CI. (X+-2x sigma over the root of the number!!)

      Love it! (Providing my thumb ruler didn’t slip….)

  6. garyk30 Says:

    TC groans about restrictions being ‘for the children’; but, your chart shows that there are almost ZERO deaths below the age of 40.

    That is well beyond what is considered ‘childhood’!!!

    • beobrigitte Says:

      Cancer is MOSTLY a disease of the elderly population. (Conveniently omitted by tobacco control.)

    • junican Says:

      That’s right – only in extreme situations of childhood susceptibility do cancers in young(er) people appear, regardless of smoking. The claimed cumulative effect of smoking over decades is a rationalisation. There is no direct evidence of such a cumulative effect.

  7. A Possible Reason for the Attacks on Ecigs | Bo... Says:

    […] A Possible Reason for the Attacks on Ecigs. This post must necessarily be seen as somewhat tongue in cheek. First, let us briefly consider the results of the Doll Doctors Study regarding the health effects of smoking on 'light' …  […]

  8. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    It’s interesting how times have changed since Doll’s era in terms of what would be considered “light smoking.” I haven’t actually looked at the statistics on this, but my general sense is that back in the 1960s the “average smoker” smoked 25 or so cigarettes per day. Today I’d guess the “average” is down around 15 per day. And I’d also guess that “light smokers” (say those down in the bottom 20% of those who smoke at least a few per month) probably smoke less than 10 a day, with a good number just smoking five or so.

    If we assume that the proposition that the difference in the graph lines is actually due to smoking rather than co-correlates or data problems, then at those levels the lines would likely move even closer to those of the nonsmoker in Doll’s data if it were available in that form. “Recreational smokers” — those who smoke only if they’re out drinking or who occasionally join a colleague on a smoke break — would likely be fully indistinguishable… they might even begin moving into what I believe Doll found for pipe smokers if my memory is correct: i.e. healthier than total nonsmokers.

    Does anyone know of any decently reputable studies that have been done on very light (e.g. under a pack a week) smokers?

    – MJM

  9. garyk30 Says:

    Doll’s Doc study :

    sort of has what you want.

    Chart on page 3 gives mortality data for 1-14/day smokers and for other smokers.
    Other smokers would include pipe smokers.

    1-14/day = 85% of their deaths were from the smoking diseases

    pipe/cigar(other) = 86% of deaths were from the diseases said to be caused by smoking

    Statistictly, no difference.

    But then; for all groups, there is no difference in the ranges of 84% to 86% of the deaths being from the diseases said to be ’caused’ by smoking.

  10. junican Says:

    I’ve had another go at creating that graph – see today’s post.

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