How many times have you seen this? -
SMOKERS DIE YOUNGER
I though it would be an interesting exercise to put it to the test.
Now I smoke for pleasure, not for science, so I am disinclined to rack up my smoking levels to see if I die any younger. Seeing as I don’t know what my normal life expectancy is, it would be a pointless exercise anyway.
Instead, I decided to look for life expectancy figures for counties around the world. Having found that, I looked for the percentage of daily smokers in each country. These figures are readily available, so I had my raw data.
The variation in the percentage of smokers is quite large, ranging from Canada at 17% through to Austria at 36.3%. A marked difference like that must show a corresponding inverse life expectancy?
So what would I expect to find when correlating these two tables? Well, naturally I would expect that the higher the percentage of daily smokers would correspond with the lowest life expectancy. That is after all what they have been drumming into us?
I plotted a graph where the red line is the percentage of smokers and the blue line is life expectancy -
Ouch! Not very convincing, is it? What that graph is telling me is that there doesn’t seem to be any correlation?
I must have done something wrong.
I tried again.
This time I plotted The percentage of smokers [in red] against life expectancy [in blue] -
At last! A bit of a result? There seems to me a very slight correlation there all right? The red line does seem to follow the trend of the blue?
But hold on! What’s this? If that is true, then it would appear that smoking rates and life expectancy are directly related, whereas conventional ‘wisdom’ would have us believe that they should be inversely related? The graph is hinting that the more you smoke, the greater your life expectancy? Nah!! That can’t be true?
I will give the Antis the benefit of the doubt and will say that the red line shows no trend at all.
So what is my conclusion?
There is sweet fuck all relationship between life expectancy and smoking.
In other words,
SMOKERS DO NOT DIE YOUNGER