Further Information

Extract of the 1979 USSG Report on the relative life expectancy of smokers and non smokers | US Surgeon General Report
Article Published: 1979

Type: Official report
Published By: US Department of Health and Human Services

Further Information

As we all know, one of the big “battle horses” of antitobacco is that “smokers die early.” What does that really mean? “Early” next to what? “Early” against the average life span, which seems to grow progressively — thus smokers die “early” all the time. “Early” against the life span of non-smokers? How much and says who?

The fact that the smokers’ lifestyles — in general and because of the character traits that induce the person to become a smoker in the first place (more propensity to risk in general) — is, of course, completely neglected. That means that the myriad of small and big factors other then smoking that, by interacting, contribute to make the smoker’s life slightly shorter are also neglected. Furthermore, the fact that such little bit of life is “lost” in the least productive years – thus saving society a great deal of money in both pensions and medical care – is, needless to say, utterly ignored.

The implication by no means demonstrated is that, when the smoker quits smoking, his life may be "extended"; but that is impossible to establish, as all other risk factors stemming from the smoker's character are still there. Furthermore, comparing the smoker's life expectancy would he continue to smoke versus that of the same smoker would he quit smoking is, of course, also impossible — and that applies to both the individual smoker and smokers as populations. How can a group of individuals be compared with itself, had it behaved differently?

Ignoring the impossibility of those measurements stems from the fact that it is imperative to show that “smoking kills,” thus smoking is “evil,” thus smoking is to be eliminated, in accordance with “public health’s” ideology and superstitions. What about reality?

This extract from the 1979 US Surgeon General Report  concerning the relative life expectancy of smokers and non-smokers tells us a different story. The Report remains, to date, the “official authoritative” source on the epidemiology of smoking. The first table is at page 2-12 of the Report, the second is at page 2-26. The first table refers to years of life “lost” for male smokers at different ages and different cigarette consumptions.

The second table reports that the mortality of females smoking less than 10 cigarettes per day is actually lower than the mortality of non-smokers. The obvious implication is that such females actually live longer than non-smokers.

It follows that – even by using the “public health’s” own figures, smoking does not kill or, if it does, the “killing” is not really that significant even on the ASSUMPTION that ONLY cigarettes are shortening the smoker’s life – an assumption that no one on Earth can demonstrate.

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