Most of Trump’s Supporters Smoke?

Via Audrey Silk a few days back:

According to analysts with Cowen Washington Research Group, New York, most of President Trump’s supporters smoke. Of 25 states with the highest smoking rates, 23 voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

Statistically, Trump voters overindex to cigarette smoking, said Vivien Azer, beverages, tobacco and cannabis analyst for Cowen.

Unfortunately, that’s all I’ve been able to read of this article. There’s more somewhere, but I don’t know where.

I doubt if it’s true that “most of President Trump’s supporters smoke,” because that would suggest that over half of them smoke, and that doesn’t seem likely.

More likely is that more smokers voted for Trump than for Hillary Clinton. Or perhaps even that most smokers voted for Trump.

There are good reasons to suppose this. Hillary Clinton is the antismoking zealot who banned smoking in the White House more or less as soon as husband Bill got elected president. And she had a big hand in the SCHIP tax. And she’s a politically correct ‘progressive’, and antismokers always regard themselves as ‘progressive’.  So smokers are unlikely to have voted for her. And Donald Trump is far more libertarian and conservative than her. He might not himself smoke or drink, but that doesn’t mean that he’s anti-smoking or anti-alcohol. And he wants to liberalise the US economy, lifting restrictions placed on it, releasing its energies. But he’s never said anything about lifting restrictive smoking bans, so he’s never offered smokers anything. So why should smokers have voted for him? Perhaps that he looked less likely than Hillary to make life even harder for them.

In some ways, the real question is: how many voters are likely to change the way they vote over the smoking issue? Does it matter that much to them? And if it does matter, do they think that voting a different way might make a difference?

For myself the smoking issue is the Number One political issue in my life, and has been for the past ten years. It matters a lot. But on the question of whether voting differently would have any effect, I’m rather doubtful. Because no major political parties ever come up with proposals to relax smoking bans. Under Nigel Farage’s leadership, UKIP proposed relaxations (smoking rooms in pubs). But Farage never campaigned for it. He simply maintained an image of himself as a man who liked a drink and a smoke. And when he stepped down as leader, UKIP promptly dropped the smoking room proposal. So there’s now no more reason for me to vote for UKIP than for any other party. And there’s not much reason to vote for them.

The plain fact of the matter is that almost all mainstream political parties, everywhere in the world, are in the antismoking camp. So there’s no point any smoker voting for any of them, at least on that issue. So smokers are likely to cast around for other reasons for voting one way or the other, given that nobody is offering them anything. And so at the last UK election I voted Conservative (for the first time in my life), simply because the Conservatives seemed slightly more libertarian than Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.

And it may well be that US smokers voted for Trump than Hillary for the same reason. Trump wasn’t offering them anything, and neither was Hillary, so they voted for the slightly more libertarian-conservative Trump than for ‘progressive’ Hillary.

But if the smoking issue matters a lot to me, how much does it matter to other smokers? If, for example, 70% of them want to stop smoking, then maybe 70% of them would vote for Hillary in the hope that she’d force them to stop (I once had a friend who welcomed the UK smoking ban for this reason, so such people do exist) In fact, the truth (as established in multiple polls on this blog and elsewhere) is that 95% of smokers don’t want to stop smoking. And these smokers are feeling more and more the incursion of the bully state into their lives. But they probably think that there’s nothing they can do about it – at least when it comes to using their vote: there’s no one to vote for.

If I’d been a US voter, I’d have voted for Trump, but not because I had any expectations of him doing anything about smoking bans. I’d have voted for him because he was much more conservative and libertarian than Hillary Clinton.

About Frank Davis

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24 Responses to Most of Trump’s Supporters Smoke?

  1. Jack Ketch says:

    Unfortunately it is a very short article as far as I can see , one where you have to scroll through the pictures to read further. Here is what I could copypasta:
    WASHINGTON — If tobacco retailers are at all concerned about new talk from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about lowering the nicotine levels of cigarettes, at least one group of analysts says not to worry.

    According to analysts with Cowen Washington Research Group, New York, most of President Trump’s supporters smoke. Of 25 states with the highest smoking rates, 23 voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

    “We can think of few issues that would endanger that solid base foundation [more] than an aggressive—and unexpected—top-down directive from Washington on cigarettes,” said Chris Krueger, macro policy analyst for Cowen.

    The data led the group to say in a recent newsletter, “We believe it is unlikely that the FDA moves quickly to shift the market to very low-nicotine cigarettes. The agency tends to move at a slow pace, but more importantly, we don’t think the administration has the appetite to take on such political risk.”

    Statistically, Trump voters overindex to cigarette smoking, said Vivien Azer, beverages, tobacco and cannabis analyst for Cowen. Here’s how those numbers break down …

    Trump won 100% of the top 10 smoking states, while Clinton won 80% of the bottom 10, Cowen analysts report, with the average smoking incidence in Trump states on a population-weighted basis being 450 basis points higher than in states where he lost.

    In New York, Trump counties had a smoking incidence 220 basis points higher than Clinton counties.In Ohio, Trump counties had a smoking incidence 380 basis points higher than Clinton counties.In California, Trump counties had a smoking incidence 520 basis points higher than Clinton counties..

    • Not too surprising given that Clinton worked with Obama on the largest tax increase on an existing tax in the entire history of the WORLD: 2,300% increase on Roll Your Own smokers. Plus a 150% increase on pack buyers.

      Politicians worry themselves silly over minority groups of 5 or 10 percent. Maybe now they’ll start respecting the anger of the 25% of smokers!

      – MJM

    • Sid Wiley says:

      Smoking also supports international organized crime, cigarettes being one of the highest, if not the highest smuggled commodity (with the cooperation of US Tobacco companies). So, more good reasons for Republicans to support smoking, it aligns well with their moral compass.

      • Fredrik Eich says:

        Could not disagree more. The sin taxes on smoking causes the black market. The sin taxes also cause poverty and poverty is probably the single biggest cause of death and that is preventable to a great degree. It’s the tobacco control industry that kills people , not just by creating an environment where by non smokers do not get treated for diseases that doctors incorrectly believe is caused by smoking, such as lung cancer for example, but also by causing poverty, which kills people.

  2. irocyr says:

    I would say that anti-smoking has opened the eyes of a good number of people who have seen through the shenanigans of the establishment and a Trump vote represents a vote against the establishment irrelevant of whether Trump relaxes or halts anti-smoking laws. At least this is the reason I would have voted for him had I been a US citizen. Before this rabid anti-smoking crusade I could care less about politics and I would just irresponsibly go with the current. No longer. I keep well informed of politics now and I have made up my mind that anyone that goes against the establishment will get my vote.

    • I’ve always thought the same. There are a lot of people thoroughly disenchanted with the establishment and the way it treats us. For many they don’t really care about the system anymore and are quite happy to see it broken and in chaos.

    • Frank Davis says:

      By the ‘establishment’ I take it you mean the ‘progressive’, ‘liberal’ establishment that has emerged in recent decades. Not so long ago, in the UK at least, the establishment was conservative, perhaps even ultra-conservative.

      • irocyr says:

        Yes that’s part of it. But the biggest part is the corporate fascism we are living right now. Governments, multinational corporations, the UN, and so called philathropists and NGO’s doing the bidding all group hugging and the common mortal be damned.

  3. Clicky says:

  4. Rose says:

    For myself the smoking issue is the Number One political issue in my life, and has been for the past ten years. It matters a lot

    It matters a lot to me too.
    We’ve tried reason, we’ve waited for official science to speak up, for basic commonsense to return, for ten years I’ve been waiting for a proper qualified plant biologist to take over.

    The cavalry aren’t coming.

    I think that we will have to break their science ourselves.

  5. nisakiman says:

    Interesting article from across the pond:

    The danger of one-party rule is the absence of a counterweight to their capricious whims and constant need to showcase their virtue. The council wants to prevent gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores and grocery stores from selling menthol cigarettes and mint and wintergreen smokeless tobacco. We are all in agreement that we are better off not smoking, but the products are legal and the council was not elected to pick and choose the products that Sean Kiger can sell at his Minnoco station at Snelling and Randolph.

    The article itself is good, but more interesting are the comments, which are almost without exception supportive of his rant against the anti-tobacco mobsters. Is the worm turning? Are people getting wise to the shenanigans of Tobacco Control? It would be nice to think so. I would dearly love, before I die, to see Tobacco Control routed, humiliated and de-funded. I’d die happy, then!

    • “Is the worm turning? Are people getting wise to the shenanigans of Tobacco Control? ”

      We can hope. By taking on outdoor smoking as well as e-cigarettes they may finally have shot themselves in the ass.

      – MJM

  6. smokingscot says:

    I go along with what irocyr said.

    I’d be very interested to know how many smokers voted for the Freedom Party in the Netherlands as well as UKIP in 2015.

    Shouldn’t be all that difficult, the study can be conducted by Tobacco Control (may well have anyway), using some of the £200 million they get in funding each year. Just collate the constituencies with the highest number of smokers against the rise in UKIP.

    And although all votes have not been counted, it does seem that a “far right party” has come out on top in the Austrian elections – and may be able to form a coalition with another eurosceptic party to give grief to the established order.

    That said, I shall await an informed analysis from Raedwald hopefully tomorrow morning.

  7. Clicky says:

  8. Tony says:

    A little good news as Raqqa is liberated from Daesh/DeASH (esp 35 seconds on).

  9. jaxthefirst says:

    I think that possibly, deep down inside, most smokers – possibly subconsciously – tend these days to vote against stridently anti-smoking politicians, being as it’s no longer worth trying to seek out politicians who voice their support for smokers, because, with Nigel Farage gone from the political scene, there simply aren’t any anymore (even those who privately think that the anti-smoking movement is now pushing its luck to silly levels haven’t got the balls to stand up and say so).

    But I don’t think that this voter-motivation is even recognised as having any influence whatsoever by those in positions of power, or indeed by many members of the public. With something around 80% of people now being non-smokers, most regard the whole smoking issue as a bit insignificant, and it wouldn’t occur to them that for those most affected – smokers – it’s a very big issue indeed, and one which affects them on a daily basis, so there’s no possibility of forgetting about it.

    It could, of course, just be that the kind of politicians who are vocally anti-smoking also carry about with them a lot of other policies that people don’t like, but that doesn’t really explain the stats you mention in your article. But either way, I think it’s quite a good thing that politicians remain so blissfully unaware of how strongly smokers still feel about all the unfair treatment meted out to them these days – because if they realised it, then they might stop plastering their right-on anti-smoking credentials all over the place, and then we wouldn’t know who we should be avoiding casting our vote for! Although the idea of politicians suddenly having to become “closet” anti-smokers – having spent the last few decades bragging about how “unacceptable” they’ve managed to make smoking – does have a certain appeal …

    • Frank Davis says:

      it’s no longer worth trying to seek out politicians who voice their support for smokers,

      You may remember that I wrote to my MP recently about prison smoking bans. And he replied saying that he had passed on my concerns to the government. In due course there’ll probably be a response from the government. So he has acted to voice my concern about prisoners (which is support for smokers). I don’t think he’s a smoker, but I think he’s sympathetic to them (he voted against the 2007 smoking ban).

      I think that just having an MP who will do that is valuable. This MP has said that he wants to represent his constituents. I have the feeling that a lot of them think that they were elected to parliament to represent themselves.

  10. The Antismokers with the big microphones however DO continue telling the politicians “Smokers LOVE smoking bans and higher taxes because it HELPS them not to smoke!” We need to make it clear as day in our posts around the net that that’s simply another (and one of the more plain to see) Antismoker lie.

    – MJM

  11. Pingback: The Political Hit Parade | Frank Davis

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