It’s always puzzled me how these financial figures (see KPBS story below) are arrived at — inferring that we’d SAVE that amount if only people didn’t smoke. If these people had not died from smoking-related illnesses, would they have lived forever? Or perhaps simply one night died in their sleep without prior illness or treatment?
Yes, they likely would have lived longer if they didn’t smoke, but from a COST standpoint, where’s the savings? Indeed, assuming they were covered by pensions and/or social security, would not they have cost society quite a lot more if they lived 5-10 years longer? Perhaps many of these folks would have ended up with Alzheimer’s disease, with the care (and pain) such a disease causes?
And then there’s the correlation between smoking and diseases. For instance, clearly smoking increases one’s chances of heart disease, but do we count VERY smoker’s death from heart disease as death from smoking? Is that logical? Or do we count only the EXTRA deaths from smoking-related heart disease (as good science would dictate — something that can be calculated using actuarial… Read More