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Smoking Numbers

£½m an hour goes up in smoke - Scotsman.com News
SMOKING costs the NHS more than £5 billion a year – up to five times the previously accepted figure, researchers have said. The researchers, from the Department of Public Health at Oxford University, also calculated that almost one in five deaths in 2005 was due to smoking. One in four men and 23 per cent of women are smokers, based on 2005 figures, the paper noted. But the authors warned that their figures were an underestimate.
Betty McBride, policy and communications director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "We are now spending over £5 billion a year dealing with the health consequences of smoking. This is money being drained out of the NHS as a direct result of something we have the power to prevent.

Pile the numbers up, one in four smoke and only one in five die from it, back to the abacus and find some more, there is work to be done.


Good maths. What about the four-in-five deaths that aren't caused by smoking?

By the way, the 'previously accepted' figure for 'cost to HNS' was £2.7 billion, so they've not even managed to double it.

And there is an implicit assumption that the costs of treating smoking related diseases would all be saved if nobody smoked. In reality non smokers need treatment also- and quite a lot of it. One suspects that any savings on cardio-vascular and lung cancer treatment would be at least offset by increases in long term care of the elderly.
Stopping smoking may increase life span by a year or four- but thats four extra years as an invalid in need of much care.
It must also be said that a smokers life, like anyone else's, is their own and the tax they have paid more than makes up for any burden on the NHS.

I'm sure this comes down to how deaths are classified. To say 1 in 5 deaths are "due to smoking" is a fairly dramatic statement and I'm sure this is based on some important assumptions about cause-effect relationships.

May I recommend:
Velvet Glove Iron Fist
A History of Anti-Smoking


I haven't run the numbers, but I guess the extra medical costs for smokers (and they are not all extra, as our host points out - everyone has to die of something), do not add up to the additional pensions that would be payable if those people all lived another fifteen years or whatever it is.

Since it's all state money, who cares which pot it goes into?

The NHS does not _have_ any money which it can "cost". It spends what is confiscated from taxpayers, or wheedled out of foolish foreign banks.

If the State here decided to really end what it seems to pretend to see as a major health tragedy affecting its farm-animals, then is has these choices:-

(1) Ban it. Make it a criminal offence to sell, trade in our own tobacco products or related items. Period. (Then of course the £5-a-day habit will become the £125-a-day habit, and the State will be able to hire "more police" to "curb tobacco-crime". Yes. Great stuff, boys.

(2) Tax it out of existence, saying it's "to pay for the NHS"....and see what happens. Probably result (1), but it will take longer.

(3) Stop hectoring people, and stop persecuting retailers. Close ASH down.

I expect (3) will do more to reduce smoking in the long term than any of the others.

One in five adults smoke. Therefore, one in five deaths of adults are "linked to" smoking. Simple - and silly. Every death of an adult is similarly linked to ingesting Dihydrogen Monoxide, an effective "link" five times as great: ban water!

Well the excise tax and the VAT tax on tobacco related products added up to 10 Billon Pounds for 2006-2007. So if the the 5 billion figure is correct and everybody stopped using tobacco, the revenue loss would be 5 billion pounds.

One in five die from smoking diseases and 1 in 5 of the population smoke according to this information. Not true. Only half of smokers die from smoking related causes.

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