In the fraudulent field of 'public health' lies are told so many times in echo-chamber conferences and comedy journals that many of the graduates who pour out of Britain's public health faculties probably think them to be truths. These people are - perhaps - merely naive, but it is harder to believe that those who devise and propagate these falsehoods are acting in good faith. More likely, as with prohibitionists throughout the ages, they are charlatans who know exactly what they are doing.
Via Dick Puddlecote, I see that the latest ONS data on smoking prevalence exposes a few of the myriad lies of the public health racket. A few simple graphs effectively dismantle arguments that the likes of Martin McKee, Anna Gilmore and Simon Chapman have relied on for years.
With regards to the supposed 'gateway effect' of e-cigarette users taking up combustible cigarettes, the graph below shows the conspicuous lack of interest that nonsmokers have in e-cigarettes.
The ONS notes that:
E-cigarettes were almost exclusively used by smokers and ex-smokers. More than 1 in 10 (12%) of cigarette smokers also used e-cigarettes, compared with 1 in 20 (5%) ex-smokers and almost none of those who had never smoked.
After several years of rapidly increasing e-cigarette use at the population level, non-smokers remain almost entirely uninterested in the product. There is no evidence that the tiny fraction of never-smokers who use e-cigarettes have the slightest interest in moving on to the more hazardous and (currently) much more expensive tobacco version.
With regards to the claim that cigarettes are "more affordable than they were in the 1960s" (Deborah Arnott, ASH), the ONS has a graph that nicely exposes that pitiful and obvious lie.
As anyone who has made contact with planet Earth in the last forty years knows, the price of tobacco in Britain has risen at an eye-watering rate. See here for more evidence that the price of cigarettes has risen at a far faster rate than inflation and average wages. It is hard to view people who make the claim that cigarettes have become relatively cheaper as anything other than miserable liars. Confirming that cigarettes have become, by any measure, less affordable, the ONS notes that:
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). Consequently there has been a gradual increase in the proportion of a smoker’s income that has been needed to fund their habit.
The inflation-busting tobacco duty rises that have taken place since 1980 have naturally hit the poorest hardest. The ONS report also contains figures which show that the poor are more than twice as likely to smoke that the rich. This undermines yet another public health lie - that the poor are more likely to give up smoking when taxes go up. In fact, they are least likely to give up.
The affordability claim about cigarettes and the gateway claim about e-cigarettes are just two of the countless lies that pour from the lips of public health shysters. They have been rebutted before and will be again. Empirical evidence will not deter them. Prohibitionists lie. It is what they do. If they had to tell the truth, even for a few hours, their careers would be over.