Death-dealing coffin nails will have to be kept out of sight of impressionable Englishpersons, beginning with large retailers in April 2012 and then in small shops beginning in 2015. "Over eight million people in England still smoke and it causes more than 80,000 deaths each year," Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said in an …
If 80,000 people don't die
Have they considered the financial implications of 80,000 people not dying?
The pension costs of immortals are astronomical ! If people stop smoking and don't die, thus living for ever, it's going to cost a fortune in Werther's originals alone.
I don't know the answer, but what is the cost of their care during the last months of their life. Doctors, nurses, MRI, Cat scan, x-rays, chemo, cancer drus, other drugs, hospital beds, etc.
Having said that, how much tax does the government gross from smokers?
Not saying you're wrong, just muddying the waters while everyone up-votes you :)
Costs and Revenues
Smoking is reckoned to cost the NHS anywhere from £1.5b to £5b per year (depending on who you ask). This is balanced against a revenue income of £10.5b in duty and VAT (8.8b duty and 1.7b VAT).
The government has to appear to do something about smoking on public health grounds, but ultimately it cannot afford to lose income in generates for the tax man.
I firmly believe that one of the main reasons we'll never see a legalised, taxed cannabis industry is that it's very hard to tax something that people can grow in their own loft.
They could probably grow tobacco in their loft,
it's just easier to buy a pack of tabs from the shops. If cannabis was legalised, there would probably be restrictions on growth (H&S for a start) to deter people from growing their own.
And of course it would be easier to buy a pack from the offy, so why bother?
Why not license it to be grown at home?
Buy a yearly license that allows you to grow X number of plants(work out how many would supply you for a year) for a year for personal use. License gives the police and authorities the legal right to enter your property at any time to check you growing plants, in the same way as a firearms cert gives them the right to check your locker when they want.
License shops to sell it to over 18's and add a decent tax on it, anyone caught selling illegally gets 5 years inside.
All you need to do is work out the prices and tax levels.
"License" growing a *plant* ffs
Well license carrots and potatoes then.
My only question is ...
Why do people with a clue still take tobacco, in any form?
Why do people
drive fast cars?
My only answer is...
Maybe because they, er, enjoy it? Maybe the health consequences don't feature in their thinking. I assume, of course, that you take no substances of any sort that are hazardous to health - no booze, vit supplements every day, of course take your five-a-day and engage in a solid half hour of sweat-inducing exercise to maintain peak physical fitness. One can also assume that, given the detrimental effects on physique of sitting still for extended periods of time, you also do your work solely on portable device to ensure you remain mobile while second guessing other people's existence. Where's the muppet icon? N.B. I'm not a smoker, just saying is all...
RE: My only question is ...
Because it's cool...
same reason anyone does anything, because they enjoy it
They still can, if they want to.
If you really have to ask
then the only way you will learn is to try it for yourself...
Because it's legal
There are much better drugs with lesser side effects, but they're illegal so people settle for slightly less cool, slightly less nice, slightly more likely to kill you.
People are going to consume narcotics, so the government has decided to let us opt for alcohol or tobacco, two of the worst options.
I don't know any smokers who enjoy it.
... the alternative is to have to live with the pricks who want to control how I live for EVEN longer.
@ durandal & others
durandal: All of your counter-examples contain manageable risk. I partake in all of them. Tobacco contains unmanageable risk. When used as intended by the manufacturer, tobacco WILL kill you.
To those of you who think "it's cool", or "because they can", or "because they enjoy it", I feel ever so sorry for you, and those around you ... This is 2011, for gawd/ess's sake ... wake up, smell reality ... although it'll take close to four years to get your sense of smell (and taste) back after you quit.
Tobacco is probably the single most useless legal big-money product that modern marketing pushes on the sheeple ... I mean, seriously, what good does it do you? Other than turn you into a pariah that the rest of us can safely ignore, that is ...
Re: My only question is ...
Why do people with a clue still drive?
After people with a clue have stopped smoking, over eating and under exercising, your daily commute is the next big killer.
Anyway, the obvious answer is that people with a clue are capable of weighing up the pros and cons and can make up their own minds. Hence the moans about the nanny state.
After all, no-one gets out alive.
No, not many people who smoke actually enjoy it. The great majority continue to smoke only because of they're addicted.
With the exception of drinking...
The 'natural high' associated with the noted tasks is derived from an adrenalin excess. Nicotine does not occur naturally in the body and is addictive. If people want to smoke that is their affair. What is not fair is that they inflict their noxiousness on 3rd parties and that their evidently unhealthy activity is promoted for profit and tax.
You could, if you wish, add to your list: Music, films, video games, the internet, mobile phones, reading, fine dining. All these are addictive pursuits with an unhealthy down side..... but let's not get silly about this.
I smoked for15 years and I don't now. I've lost relatives to smoking related (and drink related for that matter) illnesses.
For mine and their benefit I would like people to stop but I respect their right in our free society to indulge in legal pass-times.
Why do we do it ?
IIRC, Denis Leary explained it best -
BECAUSE IT'S A DRUG, AND WE'RE ADDICTED.
Pass me coat, I'm off out for a 'health stick'.
@jake re:"WILL kill you"
Two words: George Burns
what good does it do you?
"When used as intended by the manufacturer, tobacco WILL kill you."
As opposed to NOT smoking which will make you live forever?
I started smoking because of a misspent youth - I'll give you a hint, I was addicted to tobacco before I started smoking cigarettes. Now I continue smoking basically to piss off arse-hats like you and when you're senile, sitting in your own shit in a care home visited by loved ones you can barely even remember - I'll be dead. I know which I'd prefer to be honest.
Or to quote Bill Hicks (a man who practised what he preached - died of Pancreatic cancer aged 32):
"See, I know you entertain some kind of eternal life fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke; let me be the first to pop that fucking bubble and send you hurtling back to reality - because you're dead too."
... or ...
"They proved that if you quit smoking, it will prolong your life. What they haven't proved is that a prolonged life is a good thing. I haven't seen the stats on that yet."
"When used as intended by the manufacturer, tobacco WILL kill you"
Actually, no. Only 1 in 2 life-long smokers actually die from smoking, and that's ignoring those who quit at some point.
There's also a huge difference between smoking a few at the weekend and smoking 60 a day - which starts sounding like risk management if you're not careful. Oops.
Of course, the reason people smoke is that they're addicted to nicotine. I'm interested in your anti-addiction technique of calling people stupid, but I'm not sure it works in practice.
I enjoyed smoking
I gave up about five or six years ago, mainly because it was just getting stupidly expensive. I totally enjoyed smoking. People say that those who say they enjoy it only do so because they are addicted but I no longer am and can say that I really did enjoy smoking.
Proof of English idiocy
Of course hiding cigs and making the packet plain is going to stop smokers smoking!
So hiding drink would stop people from drinking? I think not!
So if you really think that not smoking is going to prolong your life, your a very sad individual indeed (and likely voted for the condems).
And my response to "jake's, Only Question" is, did you think about what you were going to say before you said it? What a fking stupid question! Maybe because people enjoy it? Perhaps?, Maybe?, Possibly? What not ask yourself why more 1000's more people drink!
Why are the english just soooo fking stupid, hypocritical, lying, cheating, moaning, greedy, selfish, worthless toerags?
(and if any ones comments about "educating" people, they need a slap)
I've often wondered if the enjoyment from smoking is largely derived from the release of tension, caused by the cravings.
The above post would seem to suggest someone needs to take a quick 5 mins outside. get some 'fresh' air.
"So if you really think that not smoking is going to prolong your life, your a very sad individual indeed (and likely voted for the condems)."
Srsly? I'm going to ignore the rest of your rant for now, and just concentrate on this interesting quotation. You mean you don't think that smoking is bad for your health?
"Proof of English idiocy"
"Why are the english just soooo fking stupid, hypocritical, lying, cheating, moaning, greedy, selfish, worthless toerags?"
Says an bitter little troll who seriously needs to get an education.
Proof of English idiocy
"Of course hiding cigs and making the packet plain is going to stop smokers smoking!"
Of course spending lots of money on brightly coloured packets and trendy adverts then putting them in expensive fancy displays at eye level near the till is the tobacco industry just pissing away their profits needlessly. Everyone knows it doesn't get more people hooked don't they? They only pay for all those advertising types because they have too much money.
In all likelihood the clued up persevere with fags for much the same reasons that some of them still keep drinking to excess on occasion, partake in a line or two of Bolivia's finest, end up addicted to smack, crack, spouse beating, gambling, fish fingers, Spooks, or driving too fast. Some may well do things with bin liners, nylons and oranges of which the dreadful Hazel Blears may have heard, but not approve, while others will deviate from their carefully planned risk-averse lives by jumping out of aeroplanes, or from cliffs into shallow water or even play the odd post-club round of "Mr Wobbly hides his helmet" sans nanny approved rubberwear.
Or some may just sit smugly passing judgement on others.
"play the odd post-club round of "Mr Wobbly hides his helmet"
You owe me a keyboard mate! Well played!
consenting adults in private can do whatever they like
I certainly do - but that's because that's what i consider myself entitled to do by virtue of holding-up my end of the society contract - I work, pay tax, behave well to others, and in turn expect freedom as my reward.
Any distinction of legal vs illegal is to my mind, irrelevant, this is private and harms no-one but the consenting adults themselves.
Oh, and i like the "Bad Mr Wobbly" though it brings to mind the Viz defined sport of stuffing marshmallows into moneyboxes.
Freedom is just another word for annoyance
I fully support the right of people to smoke. However, I also fully support the right of people (myself included) not to *HAVE* to breathe smoke. The only way to reconcile these two "rights" is for smokers to be responsible for their smoke. I.e. they must not let it impact on others. so go ahead and smoke, but stick your head in a plastic bag when doing so.
Of course if you take too long to smoke you could die sooner.
Couldnt agree more.
I support your agrgument 100%. I would also extend it to cat ownership. I fully support the right of people to own cats. However, I also fully support the right of my children to not stand in catshit in their own garden, and trample it into my house. The only way to reconcile these two "rights" is for cat owners to be responsible for their cats. i.e keep them locked in their own house. With the added benefit that bird life could flourish.
Effing cat owners - the only right that trumps the human rights act.
The pro-smoking lobby for the most part come across like dog owners shouting about having the right to leave piles of dog shit on the pavement.
@Freedom is just another word for annoyance
If that's the case...
Will drivers be responsible for their own vehicle emissions (public transport passengers can share the bus/train emissions between them)?
Will you be responsible for the carbondioxide you breath out (or emit from any other orifice)?
What about the emissions from the power plants that are used to power the interwebs? Should we all get a small amout of co2 released for each webpage we visit in order to offset the interwebs?
As an ex-smoker, I might not agree with smokers anymore, but I'll die defending their right to smoke!
Cost: £5bn per yr.
Revenues received: £10.5bn
Turns out you smokers are doing the rest of us a favour. Cheers.
I'm quite glad all that nasty tar and crap in your artery's is doing something productive.
Have a pint on me.
As far as I could tell as many people bought cigarettes from the local shop I went to in Norway as do in my local shop I frequent in the UK. So in my tiny study hiding cigarettes makes no difference. Well, apart from it looks cooler having them all shuttered up like they're weapons or something -- really made me want to be cool and buy some forbidden fruit.
on second thought...
...smoking does have negative externalities other than on the users health. For instance cleaning up of ciggy butts or enforcement of bans/legal age of purchase. Also arguably the VAT should not be included in the comparison as this is applicable to most goods and contributes towards a society in which people have money/means to buy ciggys.
What about the fat people????
I'm sure that the cost to society is a lot larger for the fatties that are amongst us. When are they going to start banning McDos, donoughts and all other fat inducing, heart attack causing, diabetes causing foods? Not to mention the eye sore.....
It all boils down to 'lets pick on the smokers cause they are an easy target'. We should start the 'lets pick on the fatties to make them loose weight' and see how far that flies, after all it is for their own good!
There will be more of them
As people substitute alcohol for tobacco the nation overall will get fatter.
Why not give us a substitute that is less harmful, less fattenning and also fun?
Generally speaking smokers are slimmer than non-smokers - it's an appetite suppressor. Not to mention that as people give-up smoking, they turn to something else to distract them, like biscuits. Or at least that happened with me :-)
It's already started mate
Watch the news; the "war on smokers" is entering its latter phase and new targets are being sought. The number of "Smoking's bad mmmmmkay" stories have been declining in the last couple of years whilst the "obesity apocalypse" stories have been on the rise.
First they came for the smokers ... yadda yadda yadda....
Apparently the UK Gov are planning to make ciggie manufacturers "plan packet" their wares also, so there will be no colourful images to lure the ankle-biters into smoking.
When a few years ago they forced manufacturers to add "elf and safety warnings" to the packets , some bright sparks made a fortune out of selling "covers" that slipped over the packets to hide the details.
Wonder if they'll start producing the covers again?
UKGOV makes about £11billion in taxes a year from tobacco sales.
Sounds good to me
Another balanced article.
"It's important to make clear that there is no evidence to suggest that plain packaging would have any impact on smoking uptake by young people,"
Then there is also no evidence that it won't work. Might as well give it a go and see if it does work.
"it would be like Christmas for counterfeiters and the criminal gangs who smuggle cigarettes"
Yes, they have real problems duplicating the complicated patterns that are on existing packaging. I suppose it might make it slightly easier. How about a watermark or something?
"The sale of tobacco will move from responsible, legitimate retailers selling to law-abiding consumers, to irresponsible criminals who won't think twice about selling cigarettes to children."
What drivel. No-one is suggesting a ban on selling tobacco products. Law abiding comsumers will still be able to buy their product from responsible, legitimate retailers.
Anything that discourages people from starting to smoke must be a good thing, right?
"Yes, they have real problems duplicating the complicated patterns that are on existing packaging. I suppose it might make it slightly easier. How about a watermark or something?"
Actually, why not force the companies to use a very complicated packaging. Holograms or similar, with bigger death warnings. It would increase the cost per packet, but the Government can claim they "didn't put up the tax" :)
I don't understand why anyone smokes given the evidence. But that's your choice. Why does it matter if the tobacco is visible in the shop, or what packaging its in - you still have to ask for them in EVERY shop that sells them (only exception I've seen is "Duty Free" shops at airports).
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