Monday, 4 April 2011

The Spanish miracle: reporting before the event

There will be a drop in heart attack admissions this year in Spain, as yet unquantified, as 400,000 Spaniards stop smoking following the introduction of the smoking ban.
The Spanish National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking has said that a yet to be quantified fall in the number of people suffering heart attacks or serious breathing illnesses can be put down directly to the new regulations on smoking introduced on January 2. 
They have forecast that 400,000 Spaniards will give up smoking this year, considering that many early deaths will be avoided, especially in the hostelry sector. They say they will have definitive numbers at the end of the year, but already estimate a 10% fall in heart attacks.
Less than three months in they are already jumping on the bandwagon. Forecasting a drop in smoking rates and a drop in smoking-related diseases (why didn't Jill Pell try it in Scotland?) in their view 'shows that the legislation was "urgently needed and necessary"'. A forecast justifies policy? they're having a laugh.

(Just as well Jill Pell didn't predict a further drop in heart attack admissions after 2007, because it hasn't been sustained – not that it ever reached anywhere near 17 per cent anyway.)

1 comment:

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It says that the figures tell us nothing about quality of life but treat longevity as a goal for good or ill, and that anti-smoking campaigns of the kind seen in this country are not likely to increase the sum of human happiness.