Yesterday I made the case that the higher prevalence of smokers in some US states helped Donald Trump win those states, and also the presidency. I’m now going to make a similar case with the UK Brexit vote.
Exhibit A, Remain vote in England and Wales is mostly concentrated in London and southern England:
Exhibit B, adult smoking prevalence in UK:
There is a higher prevalence of smoking in the north of England than in southern England.
Now consider the UK climate. Smokers in the north of England experience lower temperatures than the south of England, and smokers in the west of England experience higher rainfall than in the east of England. This means once smokers were “exiled to the outdoors” smokers in the north and west of England had a much worse experience of cold and wet than smokers in southern and eastern England, and were likely proportionally more distressed by the UK smoking ban.
London may be seen to be in one of the warmest and driest regions of Britain (in part due to the urban ‘heat island’ effect), and London smokers may well be able to find lots of sheltered outdoor places to smoke, and so be less distressed by smoking bans.
Exhibit C, UK climate:
Now consider that in 2009 the EU parliament enacted a European smoking ban, complete with show trials for prominent offenders, and is currently enacting a Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The EU is no friend of smokers.
Look at the maps. Add it all up. Cold, wet, angry, northern British smokers voted for Brexit. And this was enough to tip the balance.
I myself am a cold, wet, angry, southwestern British smoker, and this was primarily the reason why I voted for Brexit (although not the only reason).
I suspect that all Europe’s smokers are likely to follow in British smokers’ footsteps. The incentive will be the strongest in those European regions which are the coldest and wettest. Why should any of Europe’s 150 million smokers want to remain in the EU, which is no friend of any of them?
I got interested in the 14 November supermoon. It happens when the Moon gets a bit closer to the Earth than usual. I wondered if it might have has something to do with the big New Zealand earthquake on 13 November. Was New Zealand facing towards the Moon? I got out my orbital simulation model, and got the view of the Earth from the Moon at the time of the earthquake:
Yes, New Zealand was one of the closest land masses to the Moon. Maybe that helped trigger it? The Moon would have been tugging a bit harder at the surface of the Earth than usual.