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Thread: The Numbers Game Of Blowing Smoke!

  1. #1
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    The Numbers Game Of Blowing Smoke!

    I'm pretty sure this article hasn't been placed on the thread before. It certainly makes for an interesting read and it sums up what we all really know...

    Cookies must be enabled. | The Australian
    avtek likes this.

  2. #2
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    Sorry I just realised that link doesn't show the full article because you need to subscribe. Heres the text of the story below...

    HOW much does smoking cost the country?

    Is it "hundreds of millions", as Kevin Rudd told us at one point on Wednesday? Or perhaps $31.5 billion, which the Prime Minister claimed was the total cost to the economy? Maybe it is "a staggering $31.5bn", as one news service reported yesterday, or even $35bn, as the Cancer Council claims. The beauty of shockonomics is that no figure is ever too large for a politician to employ.

    Rudd's estimate, recited as fact in many news reports yesterday, appears to come from a frequently-quoted 2008 report by academics David Collins and Helen Lapsley.

    The healthcare burden is relatively modest. The report estimates it costs $1.84bn a year to treat smoking-related illness. Set against this figure are notional savings from premature deaths of $1.52bn, since smokers who die early no longer make demands on health services.

    The net cost of smoking to the health system is therefore $318.4 million, a figure that hardly makes a dent on the $8.85bn the government was expecting to collect from smokers this year, even without the additional revenue from the proposed excise increase.

    The calculations get more incredible. The authors say absenteeism and workforce reduction costs the economy $5.75bn a year. A net loss of $8bn is attributed to a reduction of unpaid household labour. A dubious $3.6bn is included as the cost of resources used in the manufacture and distribution of tobacco products.

    By far the largest and most speculative component is $19bn in "intangible costs", the hypothetical cost of pain and suffering and the "valuation of life" -- an estimate of the loss of productive capacity from a premature death.

    The authors admit this costing "is the subject of considerable debate". Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry dismissed this element as impossible to calculate in his 2010 tax review.

    Far from costing the community $31.5bn, as Rudd claimed, the evidence seems to support the advice to the fictional prime minister Jim Hacker in the series Yes, Prime Minister.

    His secretary Sir Humphrey says banning smoking would leave the government out of pocket, since cigarette taxes paid a third of the cost of the National Health Service. "We are saving many more lives than we otherwise could because of those smokers who voluntarily lay down their lives for their friends," Sir Humphrey said. "Smokers are national benefactors."

  3. #3
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    Very, very interesting! Thank you for posting.

  4. #4
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    I think the 50% of smokers dying.. now bumped up to 75% I read yesterday, directly from smoking related causes.. is trumped up too.
    Tobacco seems to be a massive cash cow for everyone concerned except for those people who are hooked on the damn stuff.
    spud likes this.

  5. #5
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    Of course it's a cash grab. The ironic thing is that the Australian Government has become dependent on tobacco smokers. Their entire budget for the next ten to twenty years is based on some calculations predicting smoking will gradually decrease.

    If they unleashed vaping, that rate would plumit so quickly, and throw a monkey wrench in the whole plan.

    Relevant post: Are Vapers Killing Ecigs?

    Relevant Video :

    Rose, spud and Rossco like this.

  6. #6
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    The problem with those statistics, is that they count any cigarette exposure as "smoking", and any reason for "premature" death as "smoking related".

    If a guy smokes, then quits, and 15 years later dies of a heat attack? Smoking related coronary disease. Never mind if he was fat as a pig and downing maccas several times a week - he used to smoke!

    Never believe statistics - particularly if there's an agenda involved.
    spud, steve.c and Rossco like this.
    These things.

    I have some things.
    I vape them.

  7. #7
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    Hey Fractal, I have read that many times, but it's really just "hear say". Do we have any evidence which supports that this is what actually happens with smoking related death statistics?

  8. #8
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    If the smoking is banned, we can all expect our income tax to raise to somewhere around 70%.
    Quit on 10.06.2013
    Ave Smoked: 15-20/Day for 22 years
    Spent on Smoke: $600/month when 1 pack = $18

  9. #9
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    Sugar is next, the rumblings in media stories. Roll up roll up, come get your research grants and government funding, but somehow they'll not be able to pull the 'sugar related deaths' figure outta their @rse.

    There's no doubt that smoking has an impact on money spent on health, but with much of tobacco control they can manipulate all research and data to their own agenda.

    I guarantee you the health impact of workplace stress would dwarf so called smoking related healthcare impact. Too many people trying to pay off over-inflated mortgages fooling themselves that they own their home instead of being what they are - bank slaves.
    mavinry4, mrsgruffy and Rose like this.

  10. #10
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    I've been smoking 2-3 packs of rollies a week for nearly 40 years so in relative terms I've paid over $120,000 in tobacco tax.....that should cover costs if I come down with a smoking related disease later in life.....oh plus all my Medicare levy which the government/health system is way ahead on to date.

 

 

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