How harmful is smoking to smokers?
Public health advocates who claim one out of every three, or even one out of every two, smokers will die from a smoking-related illness are grossly exaggerating the real threat. The actual odds of a smoker dying from smoking before the age of 75 are about 1 in 12. In other words, 11 out of 12 life-long smokers don’t die before the age of 75 from a smoking-related disease.
In a 1998 article titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and 400,000 Smoking-related Deaths,” Levy and Marimont showed how removing diseases for which a link between smoking and mortality has been alleged but not proven cuts the hypothetical number of smoking-related fatalities in half. Replacing an unrealistically low death rate for never-smokers with the real fatality rate cuts the number by a third.
Controlling for “confounding factors”—such as the fact that smokers tend to exercise less, drink more, and accept high-risk jobs—reduces the estimated number of deaths by about half again. Instead of 400,000 smoking-related deaths a year, Levy and Marimont estimate the number to be around 100,000.
This would place the lifetime odds of dying from smoking at 6 to 1 (45 million smokers divided by 100,000 deaths per year x 75 years), rather than 3 to 1. However, about half (45 percent) of all smoking-related deaths occur at age 75 or higher. Calling these deaths “premature” is stretching common usage of the word. The odds of a life-long smoker dying prematurely of a smoking-related disease, then, are about 12 to 1.
Written By: Maureen Martin and Joseph L. Bast
Folks, I’m not posting this to defend smoking…. I’m just pointing out how the powers that shouldn’t be use distortions and misleading statistics [fake news] to extend their control and domination over the population. The ongoing anti-smoking campaign is not about public health, drug abuse, or teen smoking. What it is all about is money, control, and jurisdiction.