Anorak News | Smoking does not cost the NHS money: nor does obesity

Smoking does not cost the NHS money: nor does obesity

by | 22nd, March 2012

SMOKING does not cost the NHS money: nor does obesity. Nor even does booze. So we can tell the health wowsers to bugger off the next time they use that argument upon us.

Read:  The Killer Shisha tobacco scaremongering blows up in smoke.

Now it is true that all three impose costs upon the people that do it. Shorter lives for a start. But it’s also true that something that people do voluntarily must also provide benefits to them: and it’s up to each individual to decide which risks they want to take for which benefit.

And it’s that thing about shorter lives which is why the booze, tabs and rolls of sweaty fat don’t increase costs to the NHS. It’s the healthy people who live long enough to spend 5 years drooling into their bibs as they fade away from Alzheimers:

“Until age 56  annual health expenditure was highest for obese people. At older ages, smokers incurred higher costs. Because of differences in life expectancy, however, lifetime health expenditure was highest among healthy-living people and lowest for smokers. Obese individuals held an intermediate position. Alternative values of epidemiologic parameters and cost definitions did not alter these conclusions.”

The lifetime costs were in Euros:

Healthy: 281,000

Obese: 250,000

Smokers: 220,000

This is without even thinking about the higher taxes that drunks and smokers pay: this is purely the actual medical costs incurred.

So all of those arguments that taxes must be higher on these things because of the costs to the NHS? Well, they’re bollocks. Pure and total bollocks.


Posted: 22nd, March 2012 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink