Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cost of smoking

I am not a smoker, never have been one, never will be one. But I do respect people's right to smoke provided that they don't infringe on my right to not second-hand smoke.

I will admit to harassing friends who smoke about their smell, how cold it is outside where they are smoking, and the costs I will have to bear for their health care because of our socialized health system.

Apparently I'm going to have to stop making that third point...

According to a Government of Alberta news release, sent out just minutes ago:

“We need to reduce smoking and the harmful effects of second-hand smoke in our province,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness. “Every year, 3,400 Albertans die from tobacco-related causes and the province spends about $471 million on health care costs directly attributed to tobacco use.”
That's it? $471-million? That's all?

According to the Alberta government First Quarter Fiscal Update, tobacco taxes are expected to generate $890-million in revenue.

So, in essence, smokers are already over-paying for their health care costs.

I suppose it's not surprising the government left that factoid out of this latest news release.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Want to keep the Aboriginal activists the ones that would put up a barricade or blockade a road to a mine, sawmill, or heavy oil extraction plant busy?

Increase the tobacco tax, drive up the costs of a carton of cigarettes, and you will create an economy for contraband Aboriginal manufactured smokes!

Just don't restrict the purchasing of raw tobacco and filters and paper manufacturing supplies and you will have zero resistance.

Except of course the brown bureaucrats who on on the dole for 50 to 150k a year who become the have-nots! It drives them crazy to lose control.

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