70%

Frank Davis

A Billion Lives:

In 20 years’ time, there will be nearly 1.6 billion smokers around the world. Approximately 70% of smokers want to quit.

This figure of 70% is used repeatedly to justify every and any antismoking intervention. Because it is always claimed that the interventions are aimed at “helping” smokers do what they want to do anyway.

But I’m always rather puzzled at the assertion that 70% of smokers want to quit.  In my experience, it’s more like 70% don’t want to quit. In fact, it might even be 95%+ who don’t want to quit. Because those smokers who wanted to quit would have done so a long time ago.

And therein may lie the explanation. In Britain in 1950, something like 80% of adult males smoked. And 60 years later, in 2010, only about 20% of adult males smoke. Assuming a fixed British male population P, the…

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