Smokers Didn’t Reply Honestly

In a private email:

“I still find the apparent paucity of smokers hospitalised with Covid-19 interesting, but it is quite possible that many smokers didn’t reply honestly when asked if they smoked.”

That may be the simplest answer. Reviled, excluded, and robbed smokers pretend not to be smokers. And anyway when did us humans ever tell the truth about anything? We always put a bit of spin on everything we say.

And the antismokers don’t tell the truth either. They’re utterly dogmatic. They start with the dogmatic assumption that smoking kills. And that’s another kind of lie.

With humans you’re not dealing with honest, reliable, meters like thermometers or voltmeters or tape measures or scales. It’s one reason why I have no belief in social “sciences”.

On the other hand, studies in which it is independently known who smoked and who didn’t may show that smoking really is protective against Covid-19. Stranger things have happened.

About Frank Davis

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36 Responses to Smokers Didn’t Reply Honestly

  1. EG says:

    Oh no. So sneeky and ashamed smokers skewing their holly statistics. They are changing statistics.
    I was in the hospital and had a surgery long time ago and it was scary. That is not the time that people lie.

    • JSC HANLEY-JONES says:

      true. life/death situations tend to cut through the bullshit)

    • Frank Davis says:

      If people automatically lie about smoking (and I’ve seen smokers lie while holding lit cigarettes) they’ll do it in hospitals as well. This is what happens when people are mistreated. Is a jew ever going to tell a nazi he’s a jew?

      • Griblet says:

        It most certainly is the time people lie, anyone who believes otherwise doesn’t understand how to get around the lack of care that would ensue should your lifestyle choices be common knowledge.

        I’ve had two heart ops (nothing to do with smoking but a genetic condition that I can do nothing about) and I’ve never admitted to smoking purely because I know the reactions of the brain-dead medical profession. According to their records I quit in 2007, about the same time as I quit drinking. Who’d a thunk it?

        I have to regularly go to have my INR checked (international normalised ratio) by a nurse at my local GP surgery. Ironically she is the designated ‘quit smoking’ nurse. At no time since 2010 has she ever suspected that I smoke. Neither does she have the faintest idea that I drink anything at all.

        I stayed in hospital less than a week after both of my surgeries including intensive care for both and the surgeons, who are apparently world renowned, couldn’t believe it. One of them said to me, “You are incredibly strong physically and physiologically.” I’d have liked to have said, “Yeah, well you know, smoking and drinking does give you an edge.” but I refrained.

        Of course people are going to lie about smoking as well as drinking, drug taking etc. The majority of people are well aware that admitting to any thing that is considered verboten in the current health fascist world will result in their receiving minimal care.

        As an aside to this I’m not expected to live much beyond 65 (I’m 62 now). We shall see. So far I’ve outlived both my non-smoking, teetotal parents. My mother died at 47 yo and my father at 59 yo.

        Go me I say!

      • Frank J says:

        Not a chance in hell that I would lie with the possibility of being wheeled into ICU. Suicide not on the agenda. Some people may be compulsive liars but self preservation is our strongest instinct. I do not believe it is humanely possible for them to lie in such circumstances.

        This is simply another attempt to muddy the waters as they are finding it difficult to counter the present data regarding smoking and Covid 19.

  2. Rose says:

    On the rare occasion that I have to visit a doctor, I will tell them confidentially that I smoke and have no intention of stopping, but refuse to answer any lifestyle questions on forms.

    So if –
    Nitric Oxide Inhibits the Replication Cycle of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus – SARS

    Mallinckrodt, Novoteris’ nitric oxide will start COVID-19 trial
    April 2, 2020

    “Mallinckrodt and Novoteris have been given a green light by Health Canada to start a pilot study of an inhaled formulation of nitric oxide (NO) as a possible treatment for coronavirus.

    The study will be carried out at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority facilities and will test a high-concentration form of NO called Thiolanox in development by the two companies, delivered using a specialised Novoteris delivery device. It is due to start recruiting patients in the next few days.

    The UK-based drugmaker said in a statement that NO may have direct antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.”

    Do even doctors and possibly a lot of smokers even know these days that one of the combustion gases in cigarettes is Nitric Oxide? It was anti – tobacco that told me that.

    South China Morning Post
    Smoking as a Sars cure? Nonsense, say doctors

    “Rumours that smoking can help prevent Sars have been sweeping the mainland.

    With fears rising over the increasing number of cases, the claims have become a hot topic of conversation, but doctors are worried.

    Some people say that few smokers were among the total number of victims in Guangdong, where the disease is thought to have originated. As the rumours intensify, fears that many teenagers and women could turn to smoking have prompted doctors to write newspaper articles warning people of the risks involved.”
    https: //

    History repeats.

  3. EG says:

    You have a point but most people don’t think of ER doctors as nazi. Also when you are close to death you don’t care about anything but survival. This comes from my humble personal experience.
    But of course, people are different.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      I agree. I keep thinking of the shrine set up at the hospital for the whistleblowing doctor…

    • beobrigitte says:

      You have a point but most people don’t think of ER doctors as nazi.
      I don’t, either. I think of them as misguided and gullible – just the same as the people again following the very same conspiracy theories (fuelling anger and fear + dragging Christianity into it) that gained Hitler his followers.

      Also when you are close to death you don’t care about anything but survival. This comes from my humble personal experience.
      But of course, people are different.

      Absolutely. I am amazed to see a lot of people trying their best to ignore it or playing reality down.
      None of them thinks about getting first hand accounts of people working in any health service. This would be the logic, rational thing to do.

      This is a universal problem, much to my surprise. Only yesterday I had to point our to an older sibling that everyone is fine with chasing me out the door in wind and weather for a smoke or waive my right to smoke (I do respect people hating the smell of cigarettes in their houses, btw, and therefore avoid going there) when finding it too draconian to be ASKED (!!!) to waive their right for their daily walks and stay at home. And this request comes from a smoking (!!!!) sibling. “Oh, erm… erm….” was the reply.

      When will this be over? God only knows. It all depends on what sacrifices we all are prepared to make.

    • Heh… I actually wrote about my doc in my first book and brought it in to show him! LOL! He LOVED it and asked for an autographed copy!

  4. Talk about a weak excuse. Sheesh.
    If we were looking at a study that had a confidence interval of 1.08 – 7.34 someone could argue “Gee if a few of them lied it wouldn’t be significant!”
    We’re talking 7162 and 96 here. 15% of 7162 is about 1100. adding a dozen to 96 doesn’t make it equal 1100.

    It’s like a “Pro-Car Detective investigating a car accident where someone was hit by the car at 120 miles per hour and their body parts are strewn all over the road. And the detective looks at it and says, “Well, we can’t exclude the possibility that the car was parked here and this guy was out jogging really really really fast and just ran into the poor car. Heck, look at the dent he left. Sorry, can’t conclude it was the car’s fault. These joggers, they’re quite a handful y’know…”

    – MJM

    • My “weak excuse” remark was aimed at all the Antis trying to discredit the pile of studies with that excuse. Sure, the lying exists… but you don’t have 90%+ of the smokers all lying at the point where they’re afraid they might be dying if there’s anything inaccurate in their treatment.

  5. Igrowmyown says:

    Let’s have a simple but unscientific poll on here, something along the lines of, have you or any friends or relations who smoke been diagnosed with covid19,did they need hospitalisation etc,have any friends or relatives who don’t smoke been diagnosed with covid19 and needed hospitalisation etc.

    • EG says:

      Frank was right at the very beginning. People tend to lie and skew the truth by about two fold.
      But dying people are different story. Again, that’s just my humble opinion based on my own life experience.

  6. smokingscot says:

    There are several possibilities and not telling the truth is in there. Maybe, just maybe, in the NY study simply because of perceived hostility toward smokers, but certainly not in China where smoking is still very normal, even amongst health professionals.

    The fact both studies give close results indicates the lying thing’s just a guess, or that’s what your letter writer would do.

    Another, more likely reason, might be our perception that hospitals are hostile places, meaning (and here I speak for myself) some smokers will do anything possible to steer clear of them until there is no other option. With the Covid people, they can self medicate if they don’t have it too bad and they have the assistance of a good pharmacist. Nebulisers, steroids and an antibiotic will sort them out.

    It’s worth mentioning that Norway has removed smoking as a risk factor with Covid. They haven’t done that for the hell of it, so I’d be inclined to think their findings reflect the Chinese and NY studies.

    Also a significant risk factor is being overweight. By and large us lot are less inclined toward obesity whereas in the USA and Europe there is a far higher proportion of fatties and morbid guy buckets.

    Of course there is this thudding great 16 wheeler in the room, pointing out that the facts collected are accurate and we are far less likely to be infected in the first place.

    That leads to my getting off my chest many of these hackneyed clichés I’ve read about smokers not getting it because no one wants to speak to them. That is very true in my case, simply because my experience is that strangers who approach me invariably want to bum a rollup, or borrow my lighter. I’m always wary of strangers at the best of times, so that can be turned 180 degrees. I certainly don’t wish to converse with obvious non smokers – and anyone who gets within my personal space, well I’ll simply light a fag and exhale in it’s face. Should that not work, I’m quite comfortable moving, or if that’s not possible (such as an aircraft) to put in my earplugs and feign sleep.

    • EG says:

      Also we cannot forget that this virus is related to the lungs and if things go bad people would confess smoking rather then hide it, I think. At least in the beginning most people would do it.

    • Joe L. says:

      There are several possibilities and not telling the truth is in there. Maybe, just maybe, in the NY study simply because of perceived hostility toward smokers, but certainly not in China where smoking is still very normal, even amongst health professionals.

      Precisely this. Let’s set the CDC study aside for now and focus on China. There are now at least seven studies from China which indicate smokers are far less likely to present severe symptoms from COVID-19. Approximately 50% of Chinese men smoke, and it is claimed that only a small percentage of women smoke. So, let’s assume a population of 50% men and 50% women. Thus, roughly 25% of the population smokes. If smoking had no effect on the severity of COVID-19, then ~25% of those presenting severe symptoms should be current smokers. The largest percentage I have seen from these Chinese studies claims 16.9% of those presenting “severe” symptoms are current smokers. Therefore, this would mean that 1.0 – (16.9 / 25) = 32.4% of current smokers in China lied about the fact that they smoke. Taking into account the cultural differences, it’s extremely difficult to believe that roughly a third of smokers in severe respiratory distress would feel the need to lie about their smoking status in a country where smoking is still considered quite normal.

  7. Александра Собина says:

    ” have you or any friends or relations who smoke been diagnosed with covid19″
    “have any friends or relatives who don’t smoke been diagnosed with covid19 and needed hospitalisation etc.”
    No. They are protected as second hand smokers by me :)

    • Rose says:

      Nobody I know, smoker or non smoker has been diagnosed with covid 19 and gone to hospital , though one ex smoker did get a nasty cough for three days in January.

  8. Александра Собина says:

    To be honest, I have never seen a smoker who pretends to be a non-smoker. Myself also never hid that I smoke. Even when I was 14 years old. For me it was always just natural. As for doctors, no one ever doubted that I smoke, and most of them smoked too. My mother is one of them, a healthy 84 smoker. My UK dentist said about 7 years ago that my teeth has holes because I smoke. However, my dog observed the same thing with age, and she never smoked.

    • Joe L. says:

      Oh, but there are people today that are not honest about enjoying tobacco. They have been thoroughly brainwashed by Tobacco Control propaganda. In a comment above, Frank stated, “I’ve seen smokers lie while holding lit cigarettes”. I have also.

      Just this past January, while on vacation in Mexico, a woman from Vancouver, Canada who appeared to be in her 70s, along with her daughter and 7-year-old granddaughter, sat down in the beach chairs adjacent to mine. We had a pleasant conversation, and I smoked throughout. An couple hours later, her daughter and granddaughter left to take a walk along the beach, at which point, she got up and walked over to me with a cigarette in her hand and asked me for a light. I gladly handed her my lighter. After she lit her cigarette, the first sentence out of her mouth was a disclaimer along the lines of, “I don’t smoke, but one of my friends still does, and when I vacation with her, I buy cigarettes and smoke with her and I have this pack left over from our last trip together, so I brought it with me.” She also went on to say that she would “never” smoke in front of her granddaughter.

      I informed her of the pseudoscience and cherry-picked statistics that form the foundation of Tobacco Control’s crusade. I also asked her how many of her smoking friends and acquaintances had died from lung cancer. Her answer was, “none.” There were brief moments where she would reflect on her personal experiences and agree that they didn’t fit with all the fearmongering, but every time she would follow it up by regurgitating some other Antismoking catch phase that had been etched into her brain. It was disheartening to see her continually side with the “experts” over her own life experience.

  9. Chris says:

    Culturally, I don’t think China is as “advanced” as western countries in shaming smokers. Chinese smokers would probably much less likely to lie about their habit. And as has been pointed out above, even most westerners have not drunk enough of the Kool-Aid to lie about their smoking when the ships are down.

  10. Chris says:

    Sorry for the typos: I meant: “…would probably BE much less likely” and “…when the CHIPS are down.”

  11. Ryan S says:

    I have no qualms about admitting that I smoke. I also drink! Apparently I’m supposed to have died twice from this virus. Fuck me!

  12. I actually had someone earlier today try to extend the 1% CDC argument to 15 to 20% “actual” smokers based on all the ones who lie and the ones who can’t talk because they’re dying and the ones who were counted as asthma or COPD but who were also smokers and no one asked or such. I pointed out that even with ALL even vaguely reasonable extensions it would be pushing things to get it above 4% or so which is still 400% below the population average (actually that’s kind of inverse I guess, but it expresses the meaning more clearly.)

  13. Walt Cody says:

    None of us know the official and medical stand on smoking in China. Remember too that all hospitals there are government hospitals and the government there welded sick people into tneir homes to die of the disease and/or starvation and pulled other sick people off the streets, screaming, and shoved them into vans to be taken God knows where(I’ve seen the footage) –their idea of “social distancing.” So who knows if hospitalized smokers feared they’d be blamed for getting the virus and therefore not given all necessary treatment. I might even fear the same in New York. But, as Poirot once observed “everybody lies” and smokers lied about never smoking only to be counted by the researchers they lied to as never-smoking “victims” of secondhand smoke. In a second I’ll give you some links on lying. So–we don’t know.

  14. Walt Cody says:

    Here you go:

    53) “Deception Among Smokers,” Sillett, BMJ, 1978

    “Subjects in two different clinical trials who had been advised to stop smoking were asked if they had done so. 22% (11/51)in the first trial and 40% (33/83) in the second who said they had stopped were found to have raised carboxyhemoglobin concentration. Deception appears to be common in people trying to stop smoking.”

    54) “Discrepancies between self-reported smoking and carboxyhemoglobin: an analysis of the second national health and nutrition survey.” Klesges, Am J Public Health 1992

    “Those with strong [physiological] evidence of cigarette consumption were 75% more likely to self-report as ex-smokers.”

    55) “Misclassification of smoking status by self-reported cigarette consumption” Perez ,Am Rev Respir Dis, 1992,

    When self-reports of nonsmoking status were compared with serum cotinine levels, the percentage of misrepresenters in each of three groups ranged from 4%-10.7%.

    56) “Misclassification of smoking habits: An updated review of the literature” Hamling et al, World J Meta-anal 7, 2019

    As percentages of true current smokers [based on cotinine levels] , 14.5% (12.36-16.65%) claimed to be non-smokers; 5.70% (3.20-8.29%) claimed to be never-smokers ; and 8.93% (6.57-11.29%) claimed to be ex-smokers… There was considerable heterogeneity between misclassification rates. Rates of claiming never smoking were very high in Asian women smokers, the individual studies reporting rates of 12.5%, 22.4%, 33.3%, 54.2% and 66.3%. False claims of quitting were relatively high in pregnant women, in diseased individuals who may recently have been advised to quit, and in studies considering cigarette smoking rather than any smoking. False claims of smoking (3.6%) were higher in younger population.

    57) “Science, Policy, and Ethics: The Case of Environmental Tobacco Smoke,” Gori, J. Clin Epidemiol 47, 1994

    “Published reports indicate that between 2-10% (average 4.5%) of self-declared nonsmokers are in fact smokers. [Yet] the EPA used a 1.09% correction factor to reach a lung cancer risk estimate of 1.19% [for self-reported nonsmokers exposed to ETS]. Using a ….realistic factor of only 2.5% would nullify any excess risk estimates [for] spousal exposure.”

    • Couple of things:

      “Deception appears to be common in people trying to stop smoking.”
      Actually the deception came from people who had been ADVISED to stop, and who were having to respond to those who gave them that advice. Simply responding to a stranger, and a stranger who might need accurate info to save your life… well, that’s a whole other ball o’ wax!

      ““Those with strong [physiological] evidence of cigarette consumption were 75% more likely to self-report as ex-smokers.”
      From p. 1027 I’m seeing 55% more than never-smokers, which isn’t really surprising. Someone still smoking in normal no-pressure situation with a medico they want to please would certainly want to appear virtuous and say “I’m an ex-smoker.” Heh, meanwhile why would ANY true “never-smoker” want to say “I’m an ex-smoker.” My guess is that the numbers involved were likely really small (the scan image hurts my eyes!)

      Lies from Asian females are the norm in this area ( with even the BMJ tacitly admitting with that publication that pretty much all the ETS studies involving them should be thrown out (which actually TOTALLY ditches the EPA Report!), and pregnant smokers lying… heh, would that surprise ANYone???

      And finally the overall percentages of lying are down in the 5 to 10% area… which supports our argument that they are nowhere NEARLY strong enough to account for the kinds of numbers we’re seeing in the CDC study and elsewhere.

      You’re right that we can’t stand strong on denying it EXISTS… but I think we CAN stand strong in saying it doesn’t even begin to touch our argument that there some sort of real factor out there that seems to be protecting smokers.

      – MJM

  15. Lepercolonist says:

    There is a large incentive to lie about smoking for those enrolled in Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act. Smokers pay a 50% penalty on their health plan. We are talking thousands per year. Life insurance policies are also structured with smokers paying a much larger premium. But in a life or death situation there is obviously less lying.

    • Leper, yes, when I’m having so much trouble breathing that I’ve hitched a ride on an ambulance, I’m not going to fiddle with facts that could kill me. I could always get around the ACA simply by saying, “Well, I gave it up years ago, but the last few months were stressful and I’ve been smoking again.” Bases covered for past coverage, and, if I survived, I probably WOULD quit after the near-death experience so I’d be covered for the future too! No losses. All wins.

  16. Rose says:

    After all those years of insulting antismoking adverts telling us just how badly we smell you would think they could spot us a mile off and lying would be completely pointless.

    • Hehehe,,, EXACTLY Rose! :> I liked it when they tried to say “Well, we HAVE to ban vaping in bars, because how will we ever know they’re not SMOKING???” er… yeah… right… and you were saying you needed bans for WHAT reason????

  17. EG says:

    For better or worse a very interesting discussion was started here. I know that people lie about everything. They cut in half or double depending on social expectations and they do it even on the anonimous surveys. I read about it back like two years ago. I remember there was a man who looked through Google data and compared it with real life.
    But smoking is extremely hard to hide because there is a smell. Not like taking a pill of any kind.
    We have to wait and see.

  18. mandy vincent says:

    Given how many times the antis could smell smokers a mile away, surely in confined spaces ( hospital wards) Doctors and Nurses should be able to smell a rat, aka (liar).

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