YouGov Slipping in Questions about Smoking Again

The survey that I completed tonight was about housing, earnings, and such until right near the end when the questions about smoking appeared. Briefly:

1. Do you smoke: a bit, more than a bit, every day, not at all. (My answer was every day)

2. Do you use an ecig: Yes, have tried one in the last year, have tried one over a year ago, never tried. (My answer was ‘Yes’, fibbing)

3. Are you considering quitting smoking in the next 3 months. (My answer was ‘No’)

The three questions were not part of one overall page. Each one appeared sequentially, which means that you cannot go back and alter an answer that you have already given. In this case, it doesn’t matter, but in some types of enquiry, it is possible for people to be led down a particular path.

It is hard to guess who might have originated these questions. Fir example, the ecig question could have come from an ecig company, although I doubt it. It seems much more likely that these questions are linked and that Tobacco Control is behind them. One wonders what they expect to find. In my case, for example, they would find a dual user – I use both and have no intention of quitting smoking. [You will, of course, appreciate that, because I was fibbing about using an ecig, I am not actually a dual user] There again, nor am I sure that YouGov analyses data at a level of what any specific individual replies to all three questions put together.

But what is it possible for the answers to these questions to suggest?

Are you a smoker or not? Do you use or have you tried an ecig? Do you intend to quit smoking?

Unless each individual answer to the survey as a whole is collated, all YouGov will get is a percentage of replies from people who say that they are smokers, a percentage which have tried ecigs and a percentage which intend to stop smoking.  I don’t see how that information can be particularly useful. If the answers are collated by responses to all three questions take together, then I suppose that YouGov could produce figures which might show:

a) That X number of people are smoking a little but predominantly using ecigs and are using the ecig, on the face of it, to help quit smoking.

b) That X people are dual users with no intention of quitting smoking.

c) That X smokers are not interested in ecigs and have no intention of quitting.

d) That X smokers are not interested in ecigs but have an intention to quit smoking.

e) Possibly that X non-smokers have started using ecigs, although that would be a long shot.

f) And relating to a), how the distribution of people who use or have tried ecigs relates to the amount that they smoke.

——–

I remember writing a comment or post (cannot remember which) in which I wondered if ASH ET AL don’t want people who smoke a little to convert to ecigs. The reasoning was that an awful lot of people smoke only a little (shown by the fact that the average amount smoked per day is 14 cigs (or is it 17? I think it’s 14). I believe that it is light smokers who sustain the level of tobacco taxes in the UK since most heavy smokers will avoid buying in the UK. It is the smokers of, say, 10 fags per day who will cough up the £3.50 per day without bothering much. Suppose that these light smokers started to switch to ecigs ‘en masse’? The effect on tax income to the Government could be devastating. The EU have said that they are looking for a reduction in smoking at a rate of 2% over five years. Suppose that smoking prevalence started to drop alarmingly, as light smokers switched to ecigs in vast numbers?  Apart form the loss of tax income to governments, Governments might start asking what the point of maintaining anti-smoking organisations is, especially if smokers are doing it for themselves.

Ah! There’s the rub! Smokers are doing it for themselves and tobacco control is becoming redundant! Better put a virtual stop to this vaping thing asap! But it may already be too late for tobacco control because they have left it too late. So many millions of Europeans are now in possession of ecigs that any idea from Zealots (and, consequently, governments) of restricting access to liquids is bound to be very difficult. This very point was made by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos when he said in an interview, “I wasn’t surprised by the EU regulators’ reaction to e-cigarettes. The problem for them is that they acted too late because there are so many millions of users in Europe that they can’t ignore them.”

So are we seeing an attempt by the Zealots to get figures to support their contention that ecigs are being used solely for cessation purposes, and should therefore be treated as such? Or are they seeking information to show that they are NOT being used as cessation products and therefore should be treated as though they were tobacco? And could it be that the questions were so engineered as to produce a win/win situation for the Zealots?  If used as a cessation device, they need to be strictly regulated as ‘a therapy’; if used recreationally, they need to be taxed as though they were tobacco, because inhalation equals smoking and inhalation equals nicotine addiction.

As I have said before, vapers have a massive advantage if they use it correctly, which is that they hold the high moral ground. They have quit smoking either completely or to an extent. Any barriers place before them are therefore immoral. The Zealots have been trying to move the goalposts from tobacco smoke to nicotine, but that should be ignored. The vapers argument is very simple and straightforward – they have stopped or reduced inhaling tobacco smoke. Nothing else matters. Ignore the trivia and concentrate on the main thing.

I fully sympathise with vapers. I really do. But it is entirely up to them to fight for their rights as competent human individuals. It is astonishing that every ecig sold and every bottle of liquid sold does not have a clear and simple message attached pointing out the immoral nature of the EU directive. It is the morality which is the important thing. Members of the European Parliament were WRONG to pass a motion that the strength of ecig liquid must be no greater than 20 ml/mg. They have no right to do so. It is not within their competence, unless anything greater is proven to be dangerous. They have no right to dictate to individuals. Also, competent individuals can take care of the way that they handle the liquids. There is no need for some impenetrable device to dispense the liquid. Further, there is no need at all for the liquid to be in tiny quantities, especially when you can buy acids like caustic soda in 500 gram containers. Of course the bottles should have ‘child-proof’ caps! Erm …. Well, yes, but packets of paracetamol tables are not so restricted…… Is that not strange?

=======

Further, there is no need at all for the liquid to be in tiny quantities, especially when you can buy acids like caustic soda in 500 gram containers. Of course the bottles should have ‘child-proof’ caps! Erm …. Well, yes, but packets of paracetamol tables are not so restricted…… Is that not strange? 

Thus we see how incompetent and mixed-up is public health. How are they getting away with it?

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11 Responses to “YouGov Slipping in Questions about Smoking Again”

  1. cherie79 Says:

    I did that survey too and gave the same answers.

    • junican Says:

      I got the same survey on my other persona. Same answers again.
      I seems odd that I am getting the same survey on both personae. Are YouGov scraping the barrel for people to ask?

      • cherie79 Says:

        Could be, I don’t do all the surveys now, I did at first when I thought it was a great idea but have been disillusioned now.

      • beobrigitte Says:

        Tobacco controll needs a few REAL people doing THIS survey… The population gets innundated with surveys on their phone and reacts by now by putting the phone down!

        That leaves only their employees to answer the questions to tobacco control’s liking…. 99.8% of politically correct answers cause questions.

      • junican Says:

        It looks as though they want ‘evidence’, beo. If this survey does not provide the evidence that they want, then they will discard the survey and, possibly, try another. After all, it is not their money, is it?
        I think that most of these people are not actually bothered about smoking at all. I think that they are just doing a job – a little like a physicist exploring the atom. It is the likes of Pell and Duggan who interpret the findings to the advantage of tobacco control.
        It is a very nasty scenario from a scientific point of view. The detail of studies are correct (?), but the interpretation is criminally false. But it is the criminally false interpretations which are reported in the News and which somehow get to politicians.

  2. brainyfurball Says:

    Why leave a comment – no need. I will just pick out a couple of things you say that I like very much. …

    As I have said before, vapers have a massive advantage if they use it correctly, which is that they hold the high moral ground.

    It is astonishing that every ecig sold and every bottle of liquid sold does not have a clear and simple message attached pointing out the immoral nature of the EU directive.

    • junican Says:

      The question of ‘morality’ is important. Vapers need to push that idea. It is not about nicotine, although TC is trying to change the subject. It is about stopping smoking, which is what TC says is important.

  3. TobaccoTactics Says:

    You wrote:

    “It is hard to guess who might have originated these questions. For example, the ecig question could have come from an ecig company, although I doubt it. It seems much more likely that these questions are linked and that Tobacco Control is behind them.”

    No need to guess. The truth is that ASH & Smokefree South West (possibly FRESH North East & Tobacco Free Futures, too) are behind all of the smoking questions, paying thousands of pounds for the privilege. The evidence is here at this tweet from last December:

    Furthermore, Peter Kellner, President of YouGov, is on the board of trustees for ASH. Link: http://www.ash.org.uk/about-ash/ash-board-of-trustees

    Thus, YouGov is part of ASH and vice versa.

  4. beobrigitte Says:

    One wonders what they expect to find. In my case, for example, they would find a dual user – I use both and have no intention of quitting smoking.

    In my case this would be the truth. ASH is lobbying for even higher tobacco tax in order to forc..erm.. persuade people to smoke less/stop smoking.

    This is EXACTLY what I am doing; smoking LESS, that is. I am one of the “dual users”. (No longer buying tobacco in the UK, using an e-cig to stretch my tobacco supply)

    I believe that there are quite a few vapers who do not smoke at all! Wouldn’t you think that tobacco control, ASH et al would be very pleased to be told this?

    Nope. Tobacco control, ASH et al are not pleased.

    Governments might start asking what the point of maintaining anti-smoking organisations is, especially if smokers are doing it for themselves.

    Good point! Tobacco control, ASH et al are horrified; people making their OWN decisions? All these years of impregnating adults that they are: “too weak”; “helpless”; “addicts” “needing-the-rescuer-ASH’s help” etc.etc. WASTED?

    If I remember correctly, the smoking ban was based on the (fictional) passive smoke harm to people. Surely tobacco control, ASH et al are beginning to look officially the fools we all have suspected they are. In time like this it would be most welcome Governments deciding to simply lose these leeches.
    With all that ultra-dangerous “third-hand-smoke” stuck on money, tobacco control, ASH et al wouldn’t want it anyway, wouldn’t they?

    • junican Says:

      I suppose that the critical thing that ASH ET AL are worried about is that they are losing control of events. I can’t remember who it was, but some famous politician said that ‘events’ are the most critical thing in politics. We have seen this effect with certain hospitals suddenly appearing in the news as performing very badly. These things appear very suddenly and hit the headlines.
      Ecigs have DEFINITELY thrown a spanner in the works of TC. The edifice is threatened. TC is trying its best to regain control.
      Despite all the machinations in the EU, I doubt that they can. I doubt that it is possible to control the supply of ecigs and eliquids. I just cannot see how the Zealots, or indeed the Government, can control the supply at all. I doubt that it is physically possible.
      At the same time, it would be more and more difficult to control the supply of tobacco, along with other drugs.
      What has happened is that TC has opened up a massive can of worms. Despite what ‘studies’ seem to show, the fact is that tobacco is fairly innocuous as drugs go. TC has had the effect of encouraging far more dangerous drugs.

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