Crosswise over forty years I’ve come to recognize numerous tidbit driven legends about smoking that just won’t die. In the event that I asked for a dollar each time I needed to refute these statements, I’d have accumulated a little fortune.
Their persistence owes a lot to their being a vehicle for those who utter them to express unvoiced however clear sub-texts that reflect deeply held beliefs about women, the disadvantaged, mental illness, government health crusades and the “regular”.
Let’s drive a stake through the heart of ten of the most well-known fantasies.
Women and young ladies smoke more than men and young men
Women have never smoked more than men. Every so often, a survey will indicate one age band where it’s the other route around, yet from the earliest mass uptake of smoking in the principal decades of a century ago, men streaked out path ahead of women.
In 1945 in Australia, 72% of men and 26% of women smoked. By 1976, men had fallen to 43% and women had risen to 33%.
As a result, men’s tobacco-caused death rates have consistently been a lot higher than those of women. Women’s lung cancer rates, for example, seem unlikely to reach even a large portion of the peak rates that we saw among men during the 1970s.
Currently in Australia, 15% of men and 12% of women smoke day by day.
Be that as it may, shouldn’t something be said about all the “little youngsters” you can see smoking, I’m continually being told. In 2014, 13% of 17-year-old male secondary school students and 11% of females smoked. In two younger age groups, young ladies smoked more (by a single percentage point).
Those who keep on demanding young ladies smoke more are presumably simply letting their sexist outrage appear about seeing young ladies’ smoking than their ignorance about the information.
Stop battles don’t chip away at low socioeconomic smokers
In Australia, 11% of those in the highest quintile of economic advantage smoke, compared with 27.6% in the lowest quintile. More than double.
So does this mean our quit battles “don’t work” on the least well-off?
Smoking prevalence information reflect two things: the extent of people who ever smoked, and the extent who quit.
In the event that we take a gander at the most disadvantaged gathering, we locate that a far higher extent take up smoking than in their more well-to-do counterparts. Just 39.5% have never smoked compared with 50.4% of the most advantaged – see table 9.2.6).
When it comes to stopping, 46% of the most disadvantaged have stopped compared to 66% of the least disadvantaged (see table 9.2.9).
There is a higher percentage of the disadvantaged who smoke fundamentally because more take it up, not because disadvantaged smokers can’t or won’t quit. With 27.6% of the most disadvantaged smoking today, fortunately nearly three-quarters don’t. Smoking and disadvantage are not really inseparable.
Scare crusades ‘don’t work’
Countless studies have asked ex-smokers why they stopped and current smokers regarding why they are attempting to stop. I have never seen such an investigation when there was not sunlight between the primary reason cited (stress over health consequences) and the second most nominated reason (normally cost).
For example, this national US study covering 13 years showed “concern for your own current or future health” was nominated by 91.6% of ex-smokers as the fundamental reason they quit, compared with 58.7% naming expense and 55.7% being concerned about the effect of their smoking on others.
In the event that data and admonitions about the dire consequences of smoking “don’t work”, then from where do all these ex-smokers ever get these top-of-mind concerns? They don’t fly into their heads by Kretek Cigaret. They encounter them by means of hostile to smoking efforts, pack alerts, news stories about research and personal experiences with kicking the bucket family and friends. The scare crusades work.
Roll-your-very own tobacco is more ‘normal’ than plant made
People who smoke rollies often look at you without flinching and tell you that processing plant made cigarettes are loaded with chemical additives, while roll-your-very own tobacco is “characteristic” – it’s simply tobacco. The reasoning here that we are supposed to understand is that it’s these chemicals that are the problem, while the tobacco, being “normal”, is somehow OK.
This legend was first turned very unceremoniously on its head when New Zealand authorities ordered the tobacco companies to provide them with information on the all out weight of additives in industrial facility made cigarettes, roll-your-very own and pipe tobacco.
For example, information from 1991 supplied by WD and HO Wills showed that in 879,219kg of cigarettes, there was 1,803kg of additives (0.2%). While in 366,036kg of roll-your-own tobacco, there was 82,456kg of additives (22.5%)!
Roll-your-own tobacco is pickled in seasoning and humectant chemicals, the latter being used to keep the tobacco from drying out when smokers expose the tobacco to the air 20 or more times a day when they remove tobacco to move up a cigarette.
Nearly all people with schizophrenia smoke
The facts confirm that people with mental health problems are significantly more likely to smoke than those without diagnosed mental health conditions. A meta-examination of 42 studies on tobacco smoking by those with schizophrenia found an average 62% smoking prevalence (range 14%-88%). In any case, guess which concentrate in these 42 gets cited and quoted undeniably more than any of the others?
On the off chance that you said the one reporting 88% smoking prevalence you’d be correct. This little 1986 US investigation of only 277 outpatients with schizophrenia has today been cited a remarkable 1,135 times. With colleagues, I investigated this egregious example of reference predisposition (where alarming however atypical results hang out in literature searches and get high references – “amazing! This current one has a high number, let’s quote that one!”).
By googling “What number of schizophrenics smoke”, we showed how this percolates into the network by means of media reports where figures are rounded up in statements, for example, “The same number of as 90% of schizophrenic patients smoke.”
Endlessly repeating that “90%” of those with schizophrenia smoke does these people a real disservice. We would not tolerate such error about some other gathering.