Are ‘Smoking Prevalence’ Figures True?

I do not doubt the veracity of National Statistics. They saw off an attempt by Zealots to fiddle the statistics a few years ago. What I doubt is that people are answering surveys honestly. In the present climate, why should a person admit to smoking tobacco? It is the equivalent to admitting to being a Jew in Nazi Germany. Even though such surveys are supposed to be anonymous, you can never be sure that your identity has been recorded on some computer. You can never be sure.

A couple of years ago, I answered the phone. “Hello”. I heard, “I am calling from the BBC ‘One Show’. We are doing a piece on growing tobacco plants. Can I call you back during the show to talk about growing tobacco plants?” “Well, Yes”, I replied, “But you must take into account that I only grow the plants as a hobby. I do it to amuse myself. The plants produce very little” I did not hear back from them.

But the question is: “How did they know who to ring? How did they know my identity and my phone number?” My blog is under the title ‘Bolton Smokers Club’ and not my name. So how did the BBC know?

A similar thing happened when I won a TC competition for the best slogan for something or other. My slogan was something like: “TobComs export the profits from tobacco sales but leave the health problems behind”.

Somehow or other, ASH ET AL discovered my true identity, and published it, despite the fact that my ‘entry’ was not in my proper name.

Is it therefore surprising that people who enjoy answering surveys do not tell the truth?

But there is another factor. Why should a smoker answer such a survey at all? Why not just ignore it? Some of us would answer a survey out of devilment, because we know quite a lot about how these things work, but many smokers would simply switch onto something more interesting.

Social media is a double-edged weapon. I mean ‘Social Media’ in all its forms, not just the internet. Thus, the representation of smokers might be totally useless because smokers just do not respond. It may well be that only smokers who feel ‘guilty’ respond. That is, they are afraid, worried about their health, exaggerate the ill-effects of smoking. How often have we seen people say: “When I smoked, I could hardly breath. Now that I have been ‘smoke free’ for six months, I can run a marathon in two and a half hours. And my running gear no longer stinks of BO”.

It seems that Smoking Prevalence’ figures in the UK, produced by ASH ET AL, are always much lower than those produced by the EU. There is not much that I can testify about except my person experiences. My local pub survives somehow, even though hardly anyone goes there. It used to do lunches and chicken-in-a-basket in the evenings, and it was packed on a Saturday night. Now, it does no food at all. In the last few days, the owner has cancelled the pub’s Sky Sports subscription. No sport to speak of on the pub’s TV.

My observations of the people who go the pub are that the ‘regular few’ (about a dozen) do not smoke. It is the bar staff who smoke – plus me. Several younger people, on a Friday night, the best night, smoke.

My local is owned by ‘Helman Inns’. It is a capitalist thingie – a ‘husband and wife’ venture. They have a few pub ‘ventures’ in their portfolio. I hope that they survive, but I would not give odds on it.

What ‘lift’ to trade would a relaxation of the smoking ban give to such ‘husband and wife’ enterprises?

But why have such enterprising people not got together to lobby the Government? “All we want is to be permitted, in law, to have sealed smoking rooms. That is all we want. We shall have fans of sufficient power to remove tobacco smoke. Our staff will only enter those rooms very occasionally to collect glasses and empty ashtrays. Why not?”

But the ‘why not?” was always available. It has always been a MASSIVE FAILURE of the pub and club Associations to believe that ASH ET AL gave a shit about the membership of ‘workingmen’s clubs’, or that BLAIR ET AL gave a shit about about the simple pleasures of the working class – aka, Labour voters.

It has amazed me beyond comprehension that UKIP has dropped its defence of smokers. It really is amazing. How did it become infected by the ‘Plague’ of anti-smoker dogma?

But all is not lost. Debunking of TC is appearing more and more often. No one wants to be CONTROLLED.


2 Responses to “Are ‘Smoking Prevalence’ Figures True?”

  1. Dylan drew Says:

    Does strike as a bit odd, would it be worth firing off a data protection request to them to find out what info they hold & where it was passed from

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