Tuesday, 25 November 2014

ONS Findings Tear Tobacco Control A New One

The ONS today released its latest survey of smoking habits in Great Britain and it's not great news for the tobacco control industry in general.

So mundane is it that the BBC lead not with the extensive tobacco statistics, but with a truth which most tobacco controllers have buried their heads in the sand to avoid admitting.
The concern electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking might be unfounded, the first official UK figures suggest.  
Data from the Office for National Statistics indicate those who use e-cigarettes, are almost entirely current or former smokers.
Well yeah, the civilised world and its collective dogs have known this for a long time but professional anti-smokers will continue to pretend otherwise for a while yet as their income relies on spouting bullshit long enough for inconvenient facts to evaporate. If you think about it, how can they admit that e-cigs are a boon to those who choose to quit smoking - with negligible concerns - without fearing for their tax-funded salaries, eh?

I mean, sooner or later, politicians are going to start wondering why they are paying huge levels of tax receipts to tobacco controllers when the single most effective tool for reducing smoking ever created costs nothing and is being paid for by smokers themselves. So we are witnessing - from innumerable chapters of the tobacco control cult worldwide - a state-funded industry desperately spinning to remain relevant. Ironically, this has seen tobacco control shamelessly copying the 'creation of doubt' tactics that they regularly condemn the tobacco industry for employing.

ASH have been so uninspired by the ONS conclusions that they issued a straw-clutching press release which smacked of an organisation thinking that - though they really must say something - they'd much rather be sipping a smoothie and reviewing their Moscow holiday snaps.
The decline in women’s smoking in particular puts paid to any suggestion that women’s smoking rates may be rising.
Err, I tend to keep an eye on these things but I've never heard anyone claiming that women's smoking rates may be rising, have you?

I have, though, heard many a tobacco control charlatan making up scare stories about how "glitzy" packs are seducing dumb-headed females into buying tons of fags.
Evil tobacco companies are conspiring to seduce us by wrapping up ‘our poison’ in shades of “pale or pastel colours”.  There is concern in public health circles that the dark arts of design, armed with images denoting “femininity, style, sophistication and attractiveness”, will result in us losing our pretty little heads. Or so says Cancer Research UK, keen to save us from our womanly weakness, with their latest research report published yesterday.  CRUK are outraged that “research shows” Big Tobacco is packaging brands of cigarettes specifically targeted to appeal to women.  
Well, if that's what the packs are supposed to be doing, it's not working very well, is it? The ONS state clearly that the largest decline in smoking prevalence by far is amongst women.
Women accounted for the fall on the previous year - the proportion of women who smoke cigarettes fell from 19% to 17% between 2012 and 2013. There was relatively little change in this proportion for men
So Debs is referring to her own side's propaganda and declaring it to be bunkum? We can safely strike that off the list of compelling justifications for plain packs then, eh?

Best of all, though - and I bet this had heads banging desks throughout prohibitionist la-la-land - was the ONS debunking one of the tobacco control industry's favourite sound bites.

ASH and their pals continually tell politicians that cigarettes are "more affordable" now than they've ever been in order to justify unsustainable duty rises. For example.
[C]ampaign groups such as the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) say that despite years of rising tobacco duty, increases in disposable incomes mean that tobacco remains relatively more affordable than it was in the 1960s.
Or how about ...
Although tobacco tax in the UK is relatively high compared to other countries, cigarettes are much more affordable today than they were in the 1990s 
Or ...
Currently cigarettes still remain around 50% more affordable than they were in 1965, when our understanding of the harm from smoking was in its infancy. 
Not so, says the Office of National Statistics.
Why are fewer people taking up smoking now than 40 years ago, and why are more smokers quitting? 
Smoking has become more expensive over this period, with tobacco prices increasing well above the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Figure 3. Consequently there has been a gradual increase in the proportion of a smoker’s income that has been needed to fund their habit.
They even provide a handy graph to prove it, just for those of us in the real world who haven't already noticed.

Tobacco Price Inflation versus Consumer Price Inflation, United Kingdom, 1970-2013

Having nailed three separate tobacco control lies in just one document, how long before desperate tax-sponging anti-tobacco activists declare the ONS to be ignored as an industry apologist?


12 comments:

Bandit 1 said...

That's the thing about the truth - it does always come out in the end. This unavoidable fact is, of course, terrible news for the professional liars in the Tobacco Control Industry and provides reassurance that the whole sorry exercise was doomed to failure and ignominy from the start. It will be sweet indeed to watch it all collapse.

And feck, that graph. I knew fags had gone up Zimbabwe-style over the last 20 years (from simple personal experience) but it's quite the pissboiler to see the increase so starkly depicted.

Bandit 1 said...

That's the thing about the truth - it does always come out in the end. This unavoidable fact is, of course, terrible news for the professional liars in the Tobacco Control Industry and provides reassurance that the whole sorry exercise was doomed to failure and ignominy from the start. It will be sweet indeed to watch it all collapse.

And feck, that graph. I knew fags had gone up Zimbabwe-style over the last 20 years (from simple personal experience) but it's quite the pissboiler to see the increase so starkly depicted.

Junican said...

"Currently cigarettes still remain around 50% more affordable than they were in 1965, when our understanding of the harm from smoking was in its infancy."
Right, but people have many more things to spend their money upon than they did in 1965. It is naive to compare conditions in 1965 with 2014. The reality is that, in 1965, we had little to spend what money we Youths had on,for fun, other than wenching, boozing and smoking.
But we all, including the wenches, had a great time.

Adam Haseman said...

Good to see the top rated reader comment is from a non smoker.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30192181?postId=120865441#comment_120865441

nisakiman said...

It's quite obvious that the ONS must be on the payroll of Big Tobacco.

Yet another example of how the mighty Goliath of the tobacco industry is using its billions to undermine the selfless work of the poor, underfunded and altruistic David of Tobacco Control, who after all are only trying to save us from ourselves.

Glen Appleton said...

Your pose would be even more humorous if it didn't starkly reflect the attitude of some in the TCI. It's hard to laugh at something that is just so incredibly sad.

nisakiman said...

Yes, unfortunately the parody is in fact the reality. How on earth did we get to this point?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yeah, noticed that. Encouraging. :)

truckerlyn said...

Well, I don't need saving from myself, but I do need saving from this load of lying, bullsxxxxing, money grabbing morons and their accomplices in government!

I sincerely hope that this will be the start of their hopefully rapid fall from grace - but I won't hold my breath!

Norbert Zillatron said...

Since there are people who really seem to believe that. it would be better to issue a

WArNING!
The comment above is saturated with irony and sarcasm. The perceptionally and intellectually challenged are advised to ignore it.

Norbert Zillatron said...

The one thing these ANTZ are missing--Common sense--already would be enough to show the absurdity of this "theory". i elaborate on it in my blog post "Gate? No Way!"
But it's very nice and important to see it verified with solid survey data again and again.

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