On millions of cigarette packets it declares in big letters - "SMOKERS DIE YOUNGER". Is this true? ....
Well actually, yes it is to a certain extent but the statement on the packets clearly implies that they die younger BECAUSE they smoke and this is where the claim is very misleading.
The largest portion of smokers by far is found in the working classes; smokers have a worse diet, eating less fruit and vegetables on average than non smokers. Smokers are also far more likely to work in factories, garages, chemical plants, on construction sites or as road workers where they constantly inhale cocktails of 'nasty' chemicals. As most smokers are in the working classes they also live in less healthy environments; houses that are damp or contain hazardous building materials. Smokers also take far less exercise, you never see many 40 a day smokers blocking the entrance to the local gym because they've nipped out for a fag.
So yes; HMG are telling the truth when they say that on average smokers die younger, what they don't tell you is that the anti smoking statisticians who have peddled this message failed to account for any or all of the above.
If only there were a group of smokers in society that we could look at that didn't have unhealthy lifestyles in so many other ways we could get a better picture of whether smoking really does knock years off your life as the antis claim..... Well actually there is such a group; The vast majority of the old time Hollywood actors smoked liked chimneys but a lot of them lived healthy lifestyles in many other ways such as eating well and living in comfortable modern homes and we are probably safe to assume that they never spent 8 hours a day for 40 years breathing in concrete dust on a construction site.
The puzzling thing is, when you look at the age of death of the famous smokers they actually live longer!
It appears then that smoking is not such a big factor in the premature deaths of the working classes unless of course the anti smoking movement can tell us otherwise. Perhaps they can explain why it is that famous people are immune to the deadly smoke that they say can kill a passing stranger in 30 minutes flat.
The table of famous smokers