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The Smokers' Survey

Delighted to announce the launch of The Smokers' Survey.

The survey is funded by Forest. The research however is being carried out independently by the Centre for Substance Use Research.

We're very keen that as many smokers as possible take part so here's the blurb we're sending friends of Forest this morning:

ANTI-SMOKING campaigners like to bombard politicians and the media with 'facts' about smokers. 

The most common 'statistic' is that 70 per cent of smokers want to quit. More generally they like to give the impression that most smokers wish they'd never started.

Some smokers probably do fall into one or both of those camps and if you want to quit smoking or switch to a safer alternative such as electronic cigarettes, good luck to you. That's entirely your choice.

But it's not the full story. Despite the well-known health risks many smokers say they enjoy smoking and have no wish to stop. Sadly their voices are usually drowned out by politicians, the public health industry and even the media who all think they know better.

To find out what smokers really think about these and other issues the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) in Glasgow has designed an in-depth survey.

It includes questions about your experience of smoking and how you feel about the habit. 

It asks whether you feel stigmatised for smoking and what impact quitting would have on you.

The survey also asks about your experience (if any) of NHS stop smoking services and new tobacco or nicotine products such as e-cigarettes.

Most important it invites you to say whether or not you enjoy smoking.

You don't have to answer any questions you don't want to. All the information you provide will be kept completely anonymous and stored securely.

Depending on the number of submissions we receive the plan is to publish a report that will be free to download and will be made available to a wide range of interested parties.

"The Smokers' Survey," says Neil McKeganey, director of the Centre for Substance Use Research, "is a way of getting the voices of smokers heard above the clamour for ever greater regulation."

We can't do that without your help so if you're a smoker please complete and submit the survey as soon as possible.

Click here.

Thank you in advance!

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Reader Comments (18)

Survey done.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 11:54 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Done. Some of the questions seemed determined to force one answer over another - such as how many times it is implied that one likes vaping over smoking, for example - but generally it includes fair and not leading questions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 12:48 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

And mine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 13:04 | Unregistered Commenterversicals

Survey carried out gladly

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 13:18 | Unregistered CommenterD Kerr

Done. I thought the opportunity to expand on some replies was good.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 15:35 | Unregistered CommenterNorman Brand

I completed the survey earlier on. Is this survey only going to be available via the Forest site, Simon? If so, you will be getting a very limited response, I would have thought. How many do you have on the Forest mailing list?

When do you anticipate completing the survey and publishing the results?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 15:43 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

I enjoyed filling out the survey! I cant wait to hear the overall results. Well done on this one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 16:01 | Unregistered CommenterAnita

OK if I get this on Justice4Smokers etc Simon???

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 17:48 | Unregistered CommenterPhil J


Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 20:21 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Done and enjoyed filling it in. It's the first time I've been able to expand on why I smoke to give the simple answer that I enjoy it and it adds something to my life :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 22:23 | Unregistered CommenterRussell VR Ord

Thanks for sharing the survey. I hope it capture smokers' sentiments in Ireland too...

On that tack, what happened to the Forest Eireann website?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 1:28 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

Vinny, there's a new Forest website - Thanks for reminding me, we need to redirect traffic from the old URL!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 8:34 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

"The most common 'statistic' is that 70 per cent of smokers want to quit. More generally they like to give the impression that most smokers wish they'd never started."

While researching the history of the "More Addictive Than Heroin" claim I ran across this little gem from 1985 in the Chicago Tribune:

"According to the American Cancer Society, 87.5% of regular smokers report that they find smoking pleasurable." (Page 5 of Blakeslee's article.)

Note also that it is HERE that the "more addictive than heroin" meme" began with Sandra Blakeslee's characterization:

"Dr. Richard Pollin, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says cigarette smoking is now the most serious and most widespread form of addiction in the world. He asserts it is even worse than heroin. (saying) "The foremost preventable cause of excess death in the United States -- smoking -- is rarely mentioned on the death certificates of its victims."

Note three things: (1) This was an ASSERTION by an institute director... NOT a "finding" or a "study" or a "research result." It was an opinion; and (2) He did NOT assert that smoking or tobacco or nicotine was "more addictive" than heroin: he was simply saying that it was "worse" because it was more widespread and killed more people; and (3) The author of this piece of "journalism," freelancer Sandra Blakeslee, then followed up two years later with an article showcasing the execrable piece of "research" by Henningfield and Benowitz where they invented a new survey question to add to the long standard addiction measurement questionnaire, with that new question very SPECIFICALLY aimed at making smoking come out as #1! And this time the fantasy was given multi-page coverage in the Old Gray Lady itself.... The NY Times!

Before Blakeslee played these two tricks on the American public with the aid of Pollin, Henningfield, Benowitz, the Chi Tribune, and finally the NY Times, the actual medical journals that had studied addiction for decades almost totally ignored tobacco. Why? Simple: IT WAS NOT ADDICTIVE according to the standard scientific and medical definitions of the word around the world.

Soooo... in true 1984 Orwellian fashion, the definition was changed to better conform with NewSpeak, and "Smoking, More Addictive Than Heroin" was born. And the previous note from the American Cancer Society pointing out that almost 90% of smokers were influenced to smoke because they found it "pleasurable" was lost to history.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 9:11 | Unregistered CommenterMichael J. McFadden

Done with pleasure Simon

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 10:13 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy Goodacre

Simon, Thanks for sharing the new Forest Irelansd website. It looks great!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 18:34 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

You're one of the first to see it - we haven't announced it yet!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 19:19 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Truthfully answered all questions. However, I suspect they will treat my answers as "a flyer" and omit them.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 19:23 | Unregistered CommenterBeobrigitte

It's a good survey (and admittedly, as an American, I don't think I'm in the target demographic), but I was mildly disappointed that it seems to assume all respondents are current cigarette smokers. I haven't touched a cigarette in several years, but I do smoke an occasional cigar and have no compunction about still calling myself a smoker, so I felt that entitled me to do the survey.

Friday, October 21, 2016 at 3:34 | Unregistered CommenterNate

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