A Curious Conundrum
The Nee ...anderthal Man
Probably took a puff or two
From the fire, in the cave
And the Cro-Magnon too
House members described huge health care costs associated with smoking as they approved landmark legislation last week giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products. No one mentioned the additional costs to society of caring for the nonsmoking population that lives longer.
Smokers die some 10 years earlier than nonsmokers, according the Center for Disease Control, and these deaths provide a savings to Medicare, Social security, private pensions and other programs. Vanderbuilt University economist, Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking related spending and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.
A Dutch study published last year said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared with about $417,000 for thin healthy people, who, of course, live longer."Erica Werner: The Associated Press
Hmmm ... What to do? let 'em die or tax them and hope you come out even, not including the costs of passing, administering, and enforcing the laws. I could use the $.32.