Misuse of statistics can seriously damage your campaign
I was interested by this report on the BBC's news page. While I knew that cannabis wasn't totally harm-free, I must confess that I was under the impression that tobacco smoke was riskier than cannabis smoke. So there you are.
I'm sure the National Lung Foundation have a team of great statisticians. However, they clearly have a need for more statistically-savvy spokespeople (that was alliterative, wasn't it?) Take this example:
However, regular cannabis smoking increases the chances of developing lung cancer by as much as an entire packet of 20 tobacco cigarettes, the BLF warned.
What, so if I regularly smoke cannabis all my life that's just like smoking one packet of Gitanes? You can't compare a RATE ("regular cannabis smoking") with an AMOUNT ("20 tobacco cigarettes").
Maybe I should hang fire on ditching my misconceptions until they ditch theirs....