Smoking Causes Brexititis

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.


About Frank Davis

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24 Responses to Smoking Causes Brexititis

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Smokers should definitely support Brexit. Through TPD2 many of us have lost our favourite brands.

  2. slugbop007 says:

    This is from September 2003. More than a hundred million work people in tobacco production worldwide.–en/index.htm


  3. Rose says:

    Cold, wet, angry, northern British smokers voted for Brexit

    Happy to oblige, though I do draw the line at actually being cold or wet, looking out the window can be bad enough.

  4. Roobeedoo2 says:

    ‘Fakhra Shah, a teacher at Mission High School, drafted the plan with the goal of empowering students, she said.

    ‘“This is anti-hate,” Shah said. “This is not just anti-Trump.”’

    How similar that sounds to Tobacco Controllers saying ‘This is anti-smoking, not anti-smokers’ whenever smoking restriction legislation is passed.

  5. Tony says:

    Hi Frank, good thesis but small typo I think.
    “Exhibit A, Brexit vote in England and Wales is mostly concentrated in London and southern England:”
    Presumably you mean “Remain vote”.

  6. Bandit 1 says:

    No, no. Silly Frank! The only reason people voted Leave is racism, and the only reason people voted Trump is sexism.


    I think I hate the Left’s insulting, simplistic, divisive, binary framing of every single facet of life more than I hate anything else. It’s societal and intellectual cancer.

  7. waltc says:

    Is this an “uh-oh”? On radio today, Rush Limbaugh said he’d first met Trump in 1988 when he was looking for an apartment in NYC and Trump himself showed him condos in Trump Tower. The deal breaker for Rush was that there was no smoking in the building, tho at one point Trump said he might make an exception and let Rush smoke a cigar–no, not inside– but on the roof. And this was in 1988, the year anti-smoking had only first arrived on little cat feet here in the city, with the first merely partial bans (laws for separate smoking sections in restaurants) so Trump was apparently early on the ban wagon. Just sayin.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Sounds bad. What if Trump appoints Hillary to run HHS…

      But 1988 was nearly 30 years ago.

      Speaking of talk shows, here’s the 74-year-old non-smoking Michael Savage talking yesterday (about 2 minutes 30 secs in):

      “I grew up listening to radio with my father. I remember him smoking Philip Morris, listening to the Green Hornet, other shows, and I would listen to the show with him. I was a little kid. And I’d lay down, I’d lay on his lap, and he’d be smoking a cigarette. That secondhand smoke was delicious, I loved it. And if secondhand smoke could kill you, how come I’m still living.”

  8. nisakiman says:

    Completely off topic, but I just read this morning that one of my all time favourite musicians died a couple of days ago. Not a major star, but a great artist, and I thought I’d share my favourite album of his with anyone here who likes music:

    There’s a bit of a story behind how I first heard this album.

    It was back in 1967, and I was living in a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan and these two rather brash New Yorkers, one a doctor and the other who owned a bar in Marrakesh, checked in to the hotel.

    They’d driven a brand new Alfa Romeo Spider across from Italy with the intention of selling it to one of the Afghan princes (there was still a king there in those days), and they’d brought with them this massive reel-to-reel tape machine. Of course, this was in the days when cassette tapes hadn’t been invented, and the only options were vinyl records or reel-to-reel. Lugging around a record player wasn’t really an option (although another guest at the hotel, Chris Jagger, Mick’s brother, brought one with him),

    Anyway, I spent quite a lot of time with these American guys, getting stoned and listening to the music they had. And this album was one that really stuck with me. (The other one that really stuck was ‘The Doors’). When I returned to UK a couple of years later, ‘Mose Allison Sings’ was the first LP I bought. I’ve since copied it to CD, and I still play it regularly. Such a great album. Absolutely timeless.

    As a postscript, the American guys’ deal with the prince fell through, and they ended up selling the Alfa to a minor royal at a loss, so to try to recoup their losses. they bought a load of opium, loaded it into false-bottom suitcases, and took an Aeroflot flight to Denmark. I heard that apparently when they did a flight transfer in Tashkent they got busted (definitely not a good place to get busted for smuggling drugs), and spent a not very pleasant several years in the local pokey. Sad, because they were actually really good guys.

    Anyway, if you don’t already know Mose Allison, I hope you enjoy this album.

  9. smokingscot says:

    Actually I think you underestimate Dick’s – and yours – and about 90 odd others efforts.

    “I’ve long advocated that UKIP’s poll ratings started to climb following Farage’s appearance at the Stony Stratford protest, when he got full exposure for his views on smoking in the national media. Things snowballed and they came out of the 2014 EU elections with more MEPs than any other party. They then became such a threat to the Conservatives that Cameron – in desperation – promised our EU referendum – and the rest is history in the making.”

  10. Ralf says:

    What happened to the timing of your blog ? I am used to reading new entries every morning in the Netherlands. But now new things seem to come in at random timing. Change of lifestyle? Did not stop smoking I hope..?

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’ve been meaning to say something about that. No, I haven’t stopped smoking.

      Until just before the US election, I used to post shortly after midnight. I always counted myself as being most full of ideas at that time of the day. But recently I’ve been noticing that I seem to be getting my most interesting ideas in the morning, when I’ve just woken up, and my mind is the kind of blank into which new ideas can sneak. So for some weeks I’ve been writing my blog in the late mornings, and posting them after midnight. But around the time of the US election, I decided to post new stuff when I’d written it, which is usually about noon or thereabouts, 12 hours ahead of my usual time. I hope I’ve been writing quite thoughtful stuff.

  11. slugbop007 says:

    Love Mose Allison. ‘And a young man ain’t nothing in the world these days’ … ‘The old men got all the money’ …


  12. petesquiz says:

    There’s only one slight problem with your Brexit analysis – the smoking prevalence in the UK is highest in Scotland, where there was a resounding Remain vote!

    On your theory about the moon maybe being a factor in the New Zealand earthquake. The affected faults are lateral in nature so I think it extremely unlikely that the so-called ‘super’ moon was to blame!

    Perhaps the late night blog postings contained better analyses…or maybe there isn’t enough data to justify that assertion!

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      Don’t you think it possible that the Scots are still entranced by the SNP following the independence referendum in the autumn of 2014 and complete collapse of Labour Party at the general election the following spring? That was masterful timing by David Cameron, btw.

      The SNP is extremely puritanical and pro EU in its outlook. Yet, like you say, the smoking rate there remains high. The SNP are also extremely ‘progressive’ in their social policies regarding smoking, eating, drinking alcohol and child rearing. How long before the gloss on their one USP (Independence from the rest of the UK) finally wears off, and the penny drops that the SNP had its chance and failed?

      • petesquiz says:

        You are quite correct in your analysis – I was just having a gentle dig at Frank’s assertion.

        I must admit, I don’t really understand the Scots – they are in a political union where, as far as I can see, they get their own way on almost everything except raise their own taxes, yet they want to swap it for another political union where they will have much less freedom to act independently!!

        Maybe smokersanity (and I’m claiming this as a new word!) will reassert itself as per Frank’s original hypothesis.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Scotland is a separate case, what with the recent attempted secession from the Union.

      And it’s not my theory that the Moon might have been a factor in the recent NZ earthquake. The idea has been around a long time that tidal forces may cause earthquakes.

      • petesquiz says:

        I do understand about Scotland and I suspect that your original hypothesis holds unless there are seriously larger issues at hand.

        With regard to the earthquake (and I’m not a seismologist!), if it had been an uplift or thrust fault I’d have been more convinced, but when the two sides are sliding by laterally I find it difficult to envisage how that would be affected by a change in gravity. (But, who knows?)

  13. Pingback: The Hidden Power of Smokers | Frank Davis

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