Sunday, February 3, 2013

The ANTZ smoking rate shell game

In 1990, the number of smokers was 45.8 million (25.5%). The Surgeon General announced the goal of reducing the smoking rate to 15% by 2000.
Cigarette Smoking Among Adults -- United States, 1990

By 2000, the number of smokers was 46.5 million (an increase of 700,000 smokers) but the "prevalence" or "rate" (percentage of adults smoking) was "reduced" to 23.3%. The ANTZ claimed their efforts were working - because the smoking rate was reduced from 25.5% to 23.3% - but they needed billions more in funding because the goal of 15% was still not reached. So a goal of a 12% smoking rate was set for 2010.
Cigarette Smoking Among Adults --- United States, 2000

A decade later, the number of smokers in 2010 was "down" again from 46.5 million (23.3%) to 45.3 million, a smoking rate of 19.3%. The ANTZ could now say their "quit or die" policy and spending billions on getting tax increases, youth education, flavor bans and smoking bans was working, because the 1990 smoking rate of 25.5% was "significantly reduced" to 19.3%. Now they need billions more to reach that convincingly-attainable goal of 12% by 2020.
Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ?18 Years --- United States, 2005--2010
CDC - Fact Sheet - Adult Cigarette Smoking in the United States - Smoking & Tobacco Use

Of course, they didn't mention that the 25.5% in 1990 and 19.3% in 2010 were virtually the same in the number of smokers - 45.5 million in 1990 and 45.3 million in 2010. That's a reduction of only 200,000 in 20 years! Furthermore, the CDC reported 419,000 deaths attributed to smoking in 1990. In 2010, the number of "smoking-related" deaths was reported as 443,000 (unchanged in reports since 2004,) a 5.4% increase from 1990's smoking-related deaths.
Mortality Trends for Selected Smoking-Related Cancers and Breast Cancer -- United States, 1950-1990
Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ?18 Years --- United States, 2005--2010

There is absolutely no way that the CDC, FDA and ANTZ do not know these facts and are not knowingly deceiving the public about their "proven and effective" policies and medical treatments for smoking; to continue fleecing and ostracizing tobacco-using taxpayers by convincing the public that what they are doing works. In reality, population growth probably contributed more to the reduction in the smoking rate in the past 20 years than anti-smoking efforts. Most of the real drops in smoking rates, due to people actually quitting, happened before most of the draconian policies started in the late 1980's and early 90's.

The introduction of a product that actually does reduce the smoking rates, such as electronic cigarettes, must horrify them, as it renders their shell game of misdirecting smoking quit rates useless.

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