Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Unintended Consequences

Several health studies, in the U.S. and Europe have concluded that cigarette smoking is a net financial benefit to society:

Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

"It looks unpleasant or ghoulish to look at the cost savings as well as the cost increases and it's not a good thing that smoking kills people," Viscusi said in an interview. "But if you're going to follow this health-cost train all the way, you have to take into account all the effects, not just the ones you like in terms of getting your bill passed."

Viscusi worked as a litigation expert for the tobacco industry in lawsuits by states but said that his research, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals, has never been funded by industry.

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions.

A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.

The reason: The thin, healthy people lived much longer.

Of course, our own CDC responds, "OK, fine! I suppose you approve of euthanasia, too!"

"The natural train of logic that follows from that is that then anybody that's admitted around age 65 or older that's showing any signs of sickness should be denied treatment," [CDC spokesman] Pechacek said. "That's the cheapest thing to do."
h/t Alphecca.


D.W. Drang said...

Man, you conservatives really hate people! /progressive

You should see what happens when you point out that the health hazard from pipe and cigars smoking is statistically insignificant...

HollyB said...

I wonder why all the Nicotine Nazis are trying to ban smoking everywhere when tobacco taxes [and alcohol taxes for that matter] are used in TX to support schools.

Anonymous said...

I asked my doctor if smoking was so bad ?, why doesn't the government ban tobacco sales. It must be because of all the tax revenue.... "no she said, it's because smoker die at an earlier age and we need to make room for the boomers coming on to social security"

Mmmmmmm maybe we can get the government to give free cigarettes to to us old farts like they did when I was in the army.