Smoking costs

Resident questions the financial costs attributed to smoking

As an old un-reformed smoker, I can say say that the statistics are conclusive. On average, you will live several years longer if you never smoke or give up smoking early.

Here are some other statistics I garnered off the Internet: 1. Only about 15 per cent of B.C. residents smoke – or 690,000.  2.  The total federal and provincial tax as of April 1, 2014 will be $6.88 per pack of 20 cigarettes.  3.  My wild guess is that the average cigarette smoker smokes 15 cigarettes a day.  If accurate, the contribution he/she makes to federal and provincial coffers is $1,883 a year.  Multiply that by 690,000 and you get $13 million in tax dollars contributed by B.C. smokers each year.

On the March 19 front page, there is a statement attributed to the Canadian Cancer Society that, “smoking kills about 6,000 British Columbians annually and costs the B.C. economy $2.3 billion a year.”

I did the long division.  Each smoking caused death cost our province $383,333 on average. Does that seem like a reasonable figure to health care professionals?  How is the cost to the province figured?  Does it include the taxes that smokers have paid over many years, which non-smokers have not?

What makes sense to me is smokers die younger than non–smokers, smokers die faster than non-smokers and therefore, they are less costly than non-smokers in both medical care and long-term care.

Smoking is dying out.  This is not the bad old days when restaurants, bars and homes were filled with smoke.

The few smokers I know step well away from the non-smokers outside of buildings to not offend them.

We are addicts to a legal drug, but try not to offend.  If you are a parent that smokes, you should quit to send a good example to your kids.  It is not the occasional smoker on the street that will make this seem attractive.  I don’t think Lumby is the only place to have this wrong.

The negative health aspects of smoking are not disputable. I think many of the costs associated with smoking most definitely are.

Doug Sonju

Vernon