Yesterday I was thinking how pathological antismoker Ken Austin had written how much non-smokers loathed and despised smokers, and how this wasn’t true. Because it’s not non-smokers who loathe smokers: it’s antismokers who do. There’s a difference.
Antismokers always pretend that they speak for the entire non-smoking majority. And they make out that non-smokers share their irrational fear and hatred of smoke and smoking and smokers. And this isn’t the case. Most non-smokers don’t give a damn about smoking.
I often wonder what fraction of the population are antismokers, and what fraction are tolerant non-smokers, as well as what fraction are smokers. I wondered if it might be possible to get some insight into this question. And it was this that set me off on a mathematical quest yesterday.
It was one that I didn’t complete, and so I ended up last night posting up what I’d found out so far. Today I returned to the question, and found an answer. Or at least a way of finding out the answer.
I’ll try and be brief, and set up the problem as a mathematical puzzle:
A pub-going population is divided into 3 groups of people. There are the smokers who make up a fraction Fs of the the population, and the tolerant non-smokers who make up another fraction Fns, and the remainder is composed of antismokers who comprise a fraction Fas.
When they are in pubs, these groups all consume alcohol at the same rate, Cs. Prior to a pub smoking ban being introduced, all the smokers and non-smokers go and drink in smoky pubs, but none of the antismokers do, because they’re terrified of smoke.
When a pub smoking ban is introduced, a lot of the smokers stop going to pubs. All the non-smokers carry on going to pubs, and they drink at the same rate as before. But now all the antismokers join them in the pubs (after the third hand smoke has been scrubbed off everything), and also drink the same amount.
Given that smokers make up 20% of the population, and that 30% of them stop going to pubs after smoking bans are introduced, and that pub alcohol consumption falls to 95% of its pre-ban level, what is Fas, the fraction of antismokers in the population?
Well, we can write 3 equations. First says that the sum of the fractions adds up to 1.
Fs + Fns + Fas = 1
We know Fs is 0.2, so we know that Fas = 0.8 – Fns. —————-( 1 )
The second equation we can write is for alcohol consumption before the ban:
Fs . Cs + Fns . Cs + Fas . Cs = 1
We know that Fs = 0.2, and we also know that Fas . Cs = 0. So this equation becomes
0.2 . Cs + Fns . Cs = 1 —————–( 2 )
And we also know that after the ban, and only 70% of smokers still go to pubs, and all the antismokers go to the ‘smoke-free’ pubs, yet alcohol consumption falls to 0.95 of its previous level. So we can say
0.7 . 0.2 . Cs + Fns . Cs + Fas . Cs = 0.95 —————–( 3 )
Do we have enough information to find out the values of Cs, Fns, and Fas? Most likely we do, because we have three simultaneous equations with three unknowns. And if we use equation (1)’s value of Fas in equation (3), we get
0.7 . 0.2 . Cs + Fns . Cs + (0.8 – Fns) . Cs = 0.95
simplifying, 0.7 . 0.2 . Cs + 0.8 . Cs = 0.95, and Cs = 0.95 / 0.94 = 1.01064
If we use this value of Cs in equation (2) we get
0.2 . 1.01064 + Fn . 1.01064 = 1
and so Fns = 0.79, or 79%.
and Fas = 0.01 or 1%.
So, in answer to the question, the fraction of the population who are antismokers is 1%. Which wouldn’t have been immediately obvious, particularly if they had been kicking up a terrific fuss.
This has just been a mathematical exercise, and its results don’t mean very much, but I hope it shows one way in which the size of the hidden antismoking population might be assessed and highlighted. It might also be suggested that instead of just asking people in surveys whether they are smokers or non-smokers, they ought to be asked if they are antismokers as well. And at the moment they aren’t.
It might also help if a few of the tolerant non-smokers started complaining that, just because they don’t smoke, that doesn’t mean they are smokophobic antismokers.
Aside from all that, for the last few days I’ve had an old gospel song that I first heard 40 or 50 years ago playing vividly in the back of my mind. It’s very well known, and is called Precious Memories. But I couldn’t remember on what album I heard it back then. It could have been Johnny Cash, or Johnny Horton, or maybe even Gene Pitney or Marty Robbins.
So I went looking for it on YouTube, and found quite a few versions of it, including Waylon Jennings’ version, which I first heard 25 years ago, and isn’t the one I was looking for.
And then I stumbled across Christina Sherard’s version of it, backed by the Black History Choir. As far as I could see, Christina Sherard is the latest incarnation of Tina Turner (who also had gospel roots), but with added raw vocal power. She also happens to be Miss Macon, Georgia, in the Miss America contest.
In the video, she starts out as the one standing on the left in the little black dress and stiletto heels, and she doesn’t fire up for the first half minute or so, And then her first microphone fails on her. But once she finds a better one, it’s lift-off with all 27 Saturn V engines at full thrust. It’s just a shame that the amateur video only lasts 2 minutes and 10 seconds. It’s 2 minutes and 10 seconds too short.
I must’ve listened to it about 30 times today, and even found a YouTube repeat player carrying it. And the amazing thing is that there’s absolutely nothing else anywhere by her on the web (that I can find):
Anyway, here she is. I think she should be a star.