Do Smokers Subsidise Non-smokers?

“Of course they do!”, might be your answer, but there is more to it.

Smokers put an additional £10 billion into the coffers of the State. The ‘health costs’ of smoking are ephemeral and dependent upon junk science statistics. The sort of junk science that I am talking about is doing a junk study which comes up with iffy stats about how many hospital admission were related to alcohol and then using those figures as some sort of template to make assumptions that X% of all hospital admissions are alcohol related.

I am an example. One night, I was in the pub and, because I was in a jolly mood, I overindulged on whiskey. A friend volunteered to ‘see me home’. I didn’t ask him to – even a bit pissed, I know where I live and how to get there. It was only about 400 yards, for heaven’s sake! When we got to my front door, I tripped and fell. As it happens, we have a large plant pot near the front door. As I fell, I grabbed the edge of the pot. Unfortunately, the pot broke, leaving a sharp, jagged edge. I caught my head against the sharp, jagged edge and cut my scalp open. I had to go to hospital to get the wound stitched up.

Was my admission alcohol related?

I say that not. Why? Because my admission was not directly related to harm resulting directly from alcohol. Had I wended my way home alone, as I have done thousands of times, it is unlikely that I would have stepped on the edge of the step outside our front door, and thus would not have tripped. I would have stood in the middle of the step, as usual. No, it was the presence of my friend which caused me to trip. He was occupying the middle of the step. Further, the cut was caused by the pot breaking. Had the pot not broken, there would have been no jagged edge to cut my scalp open. Had the pot not broken, then grabbing it would have arrested my fall somewhat and steered my body away from it.

It was an accident.

I was once coming downstairs and caught my heel on the edge of a step. I badly sprained my ankle, so much so that I could not play golf for three months. I was perfectly sober at the time.

It was an accident.

I suppose that you could say that that accident was ‘decorating related’ since I was doing some decorating at the time. I dare say that lots of people have accidents while decorating. It is almost inevitable since people are doing unusual things, like standing on stools, climbing ladders, not looking where they are walking or standing, etc.

Am I right in saying that gardening is notorious for causing accidents? Are there statistics for hospital admissions which are ‘gardening related’? Should there not be a special tax on gardening equipment to pay for the extra costs of such hospital admissions? And are not the manufacturers of such equipment indirectly responsible for those accidents? Warning labels are all very well, but they do not absolve those manufacturers from responsibility for the accidents which their equipment causes. The equipment, ‘when used as intended’, can be lethal.

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It isn’t fair that only smokers and drinkers pay ‘sin’ taxes. It isn’t fair that lots of other sinners escape. Just think, if everyone who indulged in hobbies had to pay sin taxes, the costs of the NHS would be well covered, with plenty money left over.

And it is so easy. All you need to do create regulations demanding money from the provider. Duty tax on cigs in in the order of 70%, and alcohol is somewhat similar. I don’t understand how petrol duty comes into the ‘sin’ category – perhaps it comes from the days of ‘luxury’ taxes.

What would be fair would be to spread the cost of the NHS over all categories of ‘health risk’. Tobacco and alcohol taxes would fall to some sort of mean percentage level, depending upon costed direct affects. Health affects from sugar and salt would be similarly costed, and so would gardening equipment, along with every other potential health hazard.

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So my title for this post is wrong. It should read:

“Do smokers subsidise the NHS to an unfair extent?”

The origin of tobacco duty was political pressure on the American colonists. The origin of alcohol duty was political pressure upon wine producing countries with which the British Government was in dispute. The origin of petrol duties was the need cut down imports during WW1. Driving about in cars was considered a luxury. Those reasons for duties no longer apply. Those duties are just disguised levies, without reasonable justification. They are being justified by the deliberate introduction of ‘sin’ taxes. Where did that phrase come from? It seems to have just appeared from nowhere. Who introduced that phrase?

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I must admit that I do not understand where the wealth of our British nation comes from. We seem to export stuff, but what stuff? Or is it that we have massive accumulated investments of wealth abroad, and that these investments bring in billions of pounds? In other words, are there millions of Indians, Pakistanis, Africans, etc, working to enrich organisations and owners based in the UK?

It is hard to understand why the Government caves in to the medical mafia and the environment mafia with such ease. For example, there is the organisation known as ‘Action on Sugar’. That organisation has no real substance. It is just a small group of academics which we taxpayers are paying for, but which seems to produce studies and statistics from nothing and have unlimited funds to lobby government. How do they acquire such power?

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Either our politicians are colluding or they are naive or they are controlling. We do not know which is true because no one talks about it.

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17 Responses to “Do Smokers Subsidise Non-smokers?”

  1. Ed Says:

    “Sin taxes have a long history as a fiscal wheeze: Parliament first introduced levies on beer and meat in 1643 to finance its fight against the Crown…”

    Here’s an old article from the Economist explaining them;

    http://www.economist.com/node/21542163

    “The government could respond by increasing sin-tax rates. But when duties rise so do the incentives to get around them, by buying abroad or on the black market. This is particularly common with cigarettes, which are easy for individual smokers to import. In 2000 non-duty consumption reached a peak of 78%, according to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association…”

    Wonder what that figure is now?

    • junican Says:

      78%?
      Seems an awful lot, but was that before or after the Gov brought in the laws about cross-channel purchases? As I recall, there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, loading up in Calais with booze and fags, before Customs started stopping that sort of activity.
      There is always a way……

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    I totally agree. I’m very fed up with having to subsidise all these idiots who have stopped me smoking in the pub. They were never pub goers anyway.

  3. Rose Says:

    Am I right in saying that gardening is notorious for causing accidents? Are there statistics for hospital admissions which are ‘gardening related’?

    Yes you are and yes, there is.

    Gardening lands 87,000 a year in hospital

    2007

    Top gardening injuries

    1. Lawn mowers (6,500 accidents in the UK each year)

    2. Flower pots (5,300)

    3. Secateurs and pruners (4,400)

    4. Spades (3,600)

    5. Electric hedge trimmers (3,100)

    6. Plant tubs and troughs (2,800)

    7. Shears (2,100)

    8. Garden forks (2,000)

    9. Hoses and sprinklers (1,900)

    10. Garden canes and sticks (1,800).

    (source: Rospa)
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1563988/Gardening-lands-87000-a-year-in-hospital.html

    I am well aware of my risky behaviour, but as usual, there are those rarely mentioned compensating factors.

    Gardening key to longer life: Doctors told to prescribe health boosting hobby
    2015

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/570786/Gardening-key-longer-life-Doctors-prescribe-health-boosting-hobby

    • junican Says:

      I’d bet a pound to a penny that those figures massively exceed true ‘smoking related diseases’.

  4. garyk30 Says:

    Children under the age of 18 are about 25% of the population and earn no wages, thus paying nothing into the NHS.

    Because they do not pay their ‘fair share’, should they be refused NHS services?

    Healthcare is neither a ‘right’ or an ‘privilege’, it is a ‘Service’ provided to you by your govt.

    6. Plant tubs and troughs (2,800) LOL

  5. Jude Says:

    I would argue that not smoking has cost the health care system vastly more than smoking ever did. The most prescribed drugs in Australia are anti-depressants, and drugs to treat type 2 diabetes, both conditions where smoking was used to mitigate the causes in times gone by.

    The levels of depressive illness, and type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed since smoking bans, and unrelenting anti-smoker propaganda have come in. Although this link is denied by the propagators of this propaganda its pretty obvious to many.

    • junican Says:

      There may be truth in what you say, but, as I see it, it is more likely that the situation is very complex. Smoking reduces appetite. If T2 diabetes is associated with obesity, then smokers are less likely to to be obese and therefore less likely to suffer from T2 diabetes.

  6. RJButterfield Says:

    as per usale you have hit the truth on the nail perhaps the pollitions should be reminded that tobbacoe was once encouraged their is to sides to every storey

    • junican Says:

      There always seems to be a sort of ‘boom and bust’, doesn’t there? Everything in politics seems to be short-term, knee-jerk reaction. Even when they do something which has long-term affects, they nearly always bugger things up.

  7. lysistratatheoriginal Says:

    Junican, sorry but I’m reposting here a comment I made a few days back about buying cigarettes online from Morrison’s because there wasn’t a comment back from you and I know it was important to you.

    Just checked Morrison’s again – YES THEY STILL DO CIGARETTES ONLINE FOR DELIVERY*. Loads and loads of brands listed. Are you sure you’re looking at the correct bit of their site?
    Maybe you have to register with them first (you don’t need to buy anything, just register). Then browse their shop – look under ‘Tobacco and Cigarettes’.

    *Well, they do in Yorkshire where I’m living now. Maybe Lancashire is too full of po-faced Presbyterians? 😉 “

    • junican Says:

      Sorry, Lys, but I thought that I had responded. I checked the Morrisons site and found that you were right. I can get cigs from Morrisons in bulk. That solves the problem because payment is secure. That is the main thing.
      Many thanks.

  8. Ritathomas Says:

    Re gardening and hobbies as cost to n.h.s. I ruptured my cruciate ligament in a gardening fall, when I went to have my knee x rayed at local hospital next day(Sunday) there were 9 young men waiting,all had sustained injuries playing football or rugby. It was only 10 am.

    • junican Says:

      LoL. Oh, I don’t mean your injury. Perhaps they had all sustained their injuries on the Saturday?

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