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A few things about health costs of addictions:

  1. In particular for smoking my guess is that smokers are actually cheaper for society. We all die, and old people are expensive in treatment during the last bit of their lives, no matter what they die from. But smoking-related diseases often kill people in their sixties, just when they were supposed to enjoy their pensions. A really bad addiction is motorcycles, killing ungrateful young men just when they've been fed and educated for 20 years and before they start working.

  2. I think the argument about cost to society is unfair when you have universal health care paid by taxes. I'm very much in favour of universal health care and don't mind at all paying the necessary taxes. But you can't first force people to pay for something and then use that as an argument to restrict their freedom to do something that only hurts themselves.  


Real capricorns don't believe in astrology.
by tomhuld (thomas punkt huld at jrc punkt it) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 03:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically the UK Treasury makes around £6bn a year in a tobacco taxes, even allowing for the cost of healthcare. So - technically - yes it's a nice little earner for the Treasury.

It's also a tax which falls disproportionately on poor people, who are more likely to spend more of their income on booze and fags.

It's clever that the tobacco and alcohol companies have framed this as a libertarian personal freedom issue.

But it's an odd kind of freedom which is quite so expensive and quite so compulsive.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 03:39:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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