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Srbija 2020

Smoking is Bad For You (…but maybe not for the rest of us)

smokingsmokingBravo! A hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign to persuade us to eschew the weed and to be fitter, happier, more productive people. Excellent - but is it though? Some might feel that a fragile economy like ours cannot afford to pay the price if too many people stop smoking.

Ok, the link between smoking and all sorts of horrible diseases is well established (cf Doll and Peto et al) and we can reasonably expect that most smokers will die about ten years before the end of their allotted span - to say nothing of the victims of passive smoking.

But is that such a bad thing? Of course for the smoker and their family and friends it is a very bad thing, but what about the rest of us? Consider the relatively low cost of the victim's medical treatment. Victims of smoking related diseases don't normally last very long once they've been diagnosed.

If they're really considerate they pop off at a moment's notice, dispatched by a convenient coronary or cerebral thrombosis (wonderfully efficient!). Compare this with the very significant cost to the community of caring for a stubbornly long-lived but aging, frail and for the most part economically unproductive population. If you've got lots of relatively fit older people doing nothing, someone must pay for their care.

Without tobacco tax revenues who will pay, especially if there are fewer younger people having smaller families? If people stop smoking en-masse, how does the Government replace the taxes they've lost? More tax to be paid by us clean-living, sensible and healthy people perhaps? (25% PDV anyone?) Alternatively, they may consider a massive hike in tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. But as other countries have discovered, when more people start surviving into unproductive old age, it's unlikely that the Government will be able to meet the enormous costs of increased pensions and of older people's health care, housing and so on from what are effectively shrinking tobacco tax revenues levied on fewer and fewer smokers (a version of the law of diminishing returns - apparently).

So the question seems to be, can Serbians afford actively to campaign against smoking. Of course we should if our priority is individual's health, wealth and a long and active life. The (probably rather too simplistic) economic argument, however, is not nearly so clear cut so if you sense that the Government's not totally committed to eradicating the evil weed from our lives, it may be that in their opinion, the Country simply can't afford it. I bet you'll never hear a politician say so though

scary but true

This is the best anti-smoking text I've ever read. it made me so nauseated that I had to light one. Nevertheless every word is true, and there's another drawback of the global anti-smoking campaign: the increase of smokers among the young - forbidden fruit effect.

Smoking ban

Welcome to the Blog, Andrew

A brief "Tobacco-tax" cost-benefit analysis you presented here is painfully true.

Two months ago, under the post "Dance Macabre" by Tamara Skrozza, we had a very heavy discussion on the 'no smoking campaigning' subject, with almost 400 comments. But, if I remember well, no one offered such an "inverted" approach as you did. It comes to sense that most of us, both smokers and non-smokers have slightly inverted views, instead.

I beg to differ on some points

I see the point you are trying to make, but you are cherry-picking facts that favour it. Cut of medical costs is one point where I would strongly disagree, because, although smokers tend to live shorter, they also tend to incur more medical expense during their life than non-smokers. If you recall, the US courts actually made tobacco companies pay billions of dollars to different state authorities on account of medical expenses of smoking-related illnesses.

And all this doesn't take into account loss of productive years of smoker's life and loss of productivity during their working years caused by increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases.

Anyway, not exactly Harmison's opening ball at Perth, but hardly That over Fred bowled.

200 besplatnih Sengen viza 011 343......

How to draw attention to your blog.

As you have seen smoking is not a talking point in Serbia, neither gardending nor home restoration. What's left, you may ask? Train-spotting?

Here is a provocative one. Who said: "It is an undeniable right of every English gentleman to live anywhere in the world he wishes"?

Do you think that still holds? In London, the opposite is true. It is an indeniable right of every former victim of the British Empire to live in the UK.

Latest news back home is that there are now 200 hedge fund managers in London worth £50 billion or more - mostly aged between 30-40, and another 200 brokers worth £50m or more, and another 100 private equity boys and girls in the same bracket. Another star fund manangers and traders worth between £10m and £20m each. THEN around 10,000 ordinary dealers, buying and selling shares, currencies and commodities. And then follow the accountants, lawyers and other advisers.

Thanks to these guys, our cigarette packs can cost five quid. On the offside, unimaginable amounts of champagne, cocaine and foreign girls have to be smuggled into the country, they are outpricing us fools of the property market. No wonder you threw in the towel. One has to be either an idealist or a cop to live in Hogarthland.

Do you think that crime is still the only form of adventure?
Andrew, give us some answers! What are we doing here?