The bansturbators are at it again.
FFS, the NHS is a taxpayer funded public body. So what they are really saying is "Smoking costs the taxpayer billions". If that figure of £2.7 billion for the 'cost' of treating smoking-related illnesses is correct*, let's compare it with the taxes that smokers pay;
1. Let's kick off with £9 billion tobacco duties, stick on £1.5 billion for the VAT on top, makes £10.5 billion.
2. We pay for smoking out of our net income, taxable at around 30%, so before we can buy our smokes, we've paid another £4.5 billion in income tax/National Insurance.
3. Add to this the fact that smokers live ten years less than non-smokers, that reduces the number of pensioners by a 15 per cent or so, reducing the cost to the taxpayer by a further £12 billion odd.
Tot that lot up, and you'll find that smokers save other taxpayers about £27 billion per annum. Is it too much to ask that ten per cent of that is spent on treatment?
The much quoted ASH are of course yet another quango - they received a cool £320,400 from the Dept of Health and The Wales Assembly Government (see page 15 of the 2007 accounts), which is more than half their income. And is probably included in the £2.7 billion figure.
* And doesn't get revised up by a factor of four, like they did with alcohol related NHS admissions.
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