© 2015 Peter Free
European Society for Medical Oncology, Survey shows that many live in ‘denial’ of the real risks of smoking even a small number of cigarettes a day, esmo.org (17 April 2015)
A discouraging finding
Public health numbers apply to the other guy:
Many people still dangerously underestimate the health risks associated with smoking even a few cigarettes a day, despite decades of public health campaigning, French researchers have reported at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
[Dr. Laurent] Greillier [Hopital Nord, Marseille] and colleagues analysed data from a representative survey of 1602 French people aged between 40 and 75 years.
This ‘Edifice’ survey included 1463 people with no history of cancer, of whom 481 were former smokers and 330 were current smokers, with an average daily consumption of 14.2 cigarettes.
“[W]e thought that the risk might be minimised in smokers compared with never-smokers.”
Among the whole sample population, 34% wrongly considered that a daily consumption of up to 10 cigarettes was not associated with any risk of lung cancer . . . .
“This finding . . . . shows that relatively low cigarette consumption is considered as ‘safe’ for a lot of people.
In our study, only half of subjects answered that there is no ‘safe’ cigarette.”
Only half of current smokers considered themselves at higher risk of lung cancer than the average-risk population, and less than 40% of individuals were aware that the risk of lung cancer never disappears after smoking cessation.
“It seems that people are aware about the dangers of tobacco for health, but might consider that the risks are not for themselves, but only for other people,” Greillier said.
© 2015 European Society for Medical Oncology, Survey shows that many live in ‘denial’ of the real risks of smoking even a small number of cigarettes a day, esmo.org (17 April 2015) (extracts)
The moral? — People tend to believe what they want to
Which makes achieving rationality arguably impossible.