Today I rode the public transit system or SCAT (sarasota county transit authority) to the beach where the pool is located. It was really quite fun. After my .6 mile lap swim, I rented a beach chair, had breakfast, read a research article, walked the beach and came home. I also read while waiting for the buses (I had to change one time each way). The bus stop that I started and ended my journey from was about .7 miles from my house (says Google maps and directions which can map your bus route for you).
As I said, I read two articles today - one was a menu labeling study from 1986! The other had to do with energy density. Both are interesting and I may talk about them later.
I also made an observation. The majority of people that were waiting to get on buses at the transfer station (downtown hub) were smokers. The sign said tobacco free property and a security guard stood right in the middle of it all. People smoked without retribution. One of the few places were smokers out number non smokers these days.
This provides a perfect example of not being able to make causal inferences from an observation. For instance, I might be tempted to say "Most bus riders are smokers." And "Riding buses causes one to smoke." Or "smoking leads to bus riding." It could be that there is something else the people have in common that is also associated with smoking.
For instance, 50% of people who are mentally ill are tobacco users. Do mentally ill people ride the bus more often than "sane" people?
And there is an inverse relationship between smoking and education. In other words, there are less smokers in the higher educated groups. Do less educated people ride buses more often than higher educated people? What about me then? I do not have any of those characteristics, but I rode the bus. ETC.
The only constant truth across smokers is that they are at risk for serious health complications.