For the casual reader who is new to Swedish Tobacco Control: Tobaksfakta is a tax funded “independent” think tank lobbying organisation that also orchestrates (and shares offices with) Doctors against Tobacco, Dentistry against Tobacco, Psychologists against Tobacco, Teachers against Tobacco, Nurses against Tobacco and finally the all encompassing Professional Organisations against Tobacco. Incidentally all the above organisations co-habit with the Swedish Society of Medicine in their cushy town-house mansion in central Stockholm.
Please find below, translated for your reading pleasure, interesting and ground breaking scientific findings on how propaganda works.
Tobaksfakta.se Scientific report: More knowledge increases support for stricter tobacco policy
How does knowledge enhancing information impact public perceptions?
Tobaksfakta (Tobacco Facts) – an independent think tank – measured this in method experiments presented in an article by Göran Boethius, Tobacco Fakta’s chairman and responsible for the survey.
The starting point was a measurement that was included in the annual report by the SOM Institute at Gothenburg University and was presented in June 2016. Tobacco Facts provided questions in the section on tobacco. A powerful result was that there was very strong support for smoke free outdoor environments. 66-92 percent supported non-smoking cafés, entrances, railway platforms, bus stops and balconies of apartment buildings. The share of unsure replies like “no opinion” or “neither good nor bad” accounted for low 5-17 percent scores.
The “not sure” category was significantly greater on the answers to questions 2 to 5, questions that dealt with tobacco taxes, display bans in shops, plain-packs of cigarettes and a national political decision for a non-smoking society, 21-40 per cent.
Goran Boëthius formed the hypothesis that the low uncertainty figures regarding support for smoking bans in public spaces outdoors, was due to more respondents having personal experience and knowledge of tobacco smoke in outdoor environments.
– Therefore, it is easy to understand the meaning of this question. While, e.g. the issue of introducing requirements for storing packs of cigarettes out of sight in shops, provide too little information for participants in the survey to know and understand enough to really take a stand, says Göran Boethius.
– More information is needed on issues, information that improves the knowledge level in the respondents. It makes it easier to take a position, but public opinion agencies on the other hand fear that these questions are likely to be leading if they contain more information. Therefore, they must be brief.
Boëthius got the idea to study a comparison of results from two groups where one group was questioned with the briefly worded questions from the SOM survey, and the other group with fuller, informative, query formulations that provided increased knowledge of the subject. After consultation with the SOM Institute and by a grant from the Jacob Wallenberg foundation, the polling institute Novus was tasked with examining the degree to which a fuller information given in conjunction with the questions, affected the outcome of the survey. It was the four SOM issue questions not regarding outdoor environments that were tested.
The experiment showed a significant effect on the responses, when more informative formulations were presented. The question on proposed tax increase on cigarettes however, expressed very small differences in all three groups, the original SOM, Novus with, and Novus without, fuller explanatory texts.
The proportion of positive responses to increased regulation increased considerably, while the proportion of “unsure” decreased, in responses to the questions about the display bans, plain packs and a long-term strategy for phasing out tobacco from the Swedish society. They were now supported by seven out of ten, while one in ten are negative and two out of ten remain “unsure”.
– These results show how crucially important information is and knowledge is, when important public health issues are to be decided, says Göran Boethius.
– The conclusion that the politicians that we try to support should take home from this is: Politicians need to improve information to the public about why measures need to be introduced and about the benefits they will generate.
– Our survey shows that with greater knowledge comes greater acceptance for the need to further tighten tobacco policy.
Original article in Swedish: http://www.tobaksfakta.se/stodet-for-rokningsforebyggande-atgarder-okar-med-okande-kunskap-erfarenhet-av-ett-metodexperiment/
Original web page translated above: http://www.tobaksfakta.se/stodet-for-rokningsforebyggande-atgarder-okar-med-okande-kunskap-erfarenhet-av-ett-metodexperiment/