back to article Healthy? You're a burden on the state

Dutch researchers have confirmed what fat smokers have waited years to hear - that healthy people are actually a greater burden on the state, because they live longer and oblige the taxpayer to deal with the cost of "lingering diseases of old age like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s". That's according to the Netherlands’ National …


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  1. Colin Millar
    Paris Hilton

    Is this a new Reg measure

    A lifetime? What next - the eternity?


    A lifetime in Paris is worth an eternity in any other place

    Wouldn't p.a. be more usual (but probably less headline grabbing)

  2. Jaap Stoel

    I am a good socialist

    I will stop dieting at once! Bring on the fries and burgers!

    On second thought, I think by the time I get Alzheimers I will opt for a suicide pill.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've been saying this for years...

    Save the NHS! End the pension crisis! Save our children from becoming nursing home staff!

    Eat more, drink more, smoke more, drive faster, ban seatbelts, ban motorbike helmets, take up extreme sports, stop filling in pot holes, end the nanny state, ban health warnings on food and electrical items, etc, etc*

    * not for the kids obviously

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flawed logic

    "While obesity is already apparently costing the NHS £1bn a year, we wouldn't be the first to point out that smokers (and drinkers, for that matter) contribute vast sums of tax to the exchequer every year by resolutely sticking to their deadly vices."

    Dead people don't contribute anything in tax.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    no s---

    Of course it stands to reason that someone who lives longer costs more - also this is just to the health service, take into account the fact that dead people don't draw pensions aswell and I'm sure the figures start to look even more sqewed

  6. Mike Crawshaw

    Take THAT anti-smoking fascists!!!!!!

    At last! Research that is not sponsored by the "you smoke?? You ARE SCUM!!!!" brigade.

    The one with the smokes in one pocket and the cakes in the other, thanks!

  7. Andrew Bolton

    Give me £60k

    I'm an obese smoker. Can I take the money now please?

    As to "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax" - WHAT? You've never heard of the gross injustice that is inheritance tax then? The biggest lump sum of tax you'll ever pay Greedy Gordon I expect...

    The Penguin, cos he's looking a bit chubby, and is probably sitting down cos of his 20 a day habit. Good socially responsible Penguin.

  8. Warren Jacobs

    Fat folk ftw

    People tend to forget that us fat folk contribute more to the economy too everytime we super-size. Our penchant for getting the bus or driving everywhere stimulates the oil and transport industry and saves on wearing down the pavements! Keep britain fat!

  9. Kevin Kitchen

    (Total lifetime taxes) - (Total healthcare)

    But what is the lifetime total of a healthy individuals taxes minus health care costs versus that of an average or unhealthy person.

    Surely an average or healthy person would manage to contribute more in taxes to the state by working steadily from 20 to 65 with little or no health care, this would mean that the net gain would be greater than that of an obese or smoking addicted individual who would need health care costs over their lifetime.

  10. Steve

    Re: Flawed logic

    Dead non-smokers contribute zero tax as well. What's your point exactly?

    Or is it more a case of your flawed reading?

  11. Peter Lenz


    @ AC --Dead people don't contribute anything in tax.

    Yes, but they don't ask for much from the government either. If they want brains they rise from their graves and terrorize the living until they get their fill. No government intervention needed, no nanny state, no National Death Service to hand it to them. The Dead are very fiscally responsible.

    Fire because it's the only thing them undead buggers fear.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Logans Run

    I await a new government policy akin to Logans Run. Stay fit and healthy, and HMGov will cull you at 60. Then 50. Then 40. Profit!

  13. Geoff Mackenzie

    Re: Flawed logic

    Not that flawed. We don't cost or contribute when we're dead. While we're alive we're young and productive and pay income tax. While you non-smokers are old you contribute bugger all.

    To paraphrase Bill Hicks (I think), you can have those years.

    Think my smokes are in my jacket...

  14. Ralph B
    Black Helicopters

    Soylent Green

    It's so tasty!

  15. jubtastic1

    @ Retarded Coward

    "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax."

    it's only a matter of time...

  16. david wilson

    It's not just tax

    >>"Dead people don't contribute anything in tax."

    True, but they don't draw pensions or other benefits either.

  17. Richard Fletcher

    Re: Flawed Logic

    An Anonymous Coward said "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax". I hereby direct said coward to contemplate inheritance tax, aka, the death tax.

  18. John Mangan

    @AC - Not flawed at all

    You're missing the point that the people contribute a lot in taxes on the way to the grave but then pop their clogs relatively quickly. That's a net gain to the exchequer.

    And as the poster above remarked it has been clear for years that we all owe a great debt to smokers, drinkers and fatties for paying for our pensions and geriatric health care with little chance of cashing in themselves.

    Gawd bless'em all!

    Skull and crossbones for the spectre of death stalking the land.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Flawed logic

    No it isn't.

    >Dead people don't contribute anything in tax.

    Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive. Given that during this alive phase they take more out of the system in social security payments than they spend on fags and beer and hence give back in tax then they are less of a burden dead.

  20. Nick Woodson

    This is hilarious!

    I work at a state-run mental health facility. The focus in the public sector is to reduce/eliminate government involvement in health care. [Obviously I'm in the U.S.]

    Let's face facts....sick people cost money. The choices are 1) pay for their care with tax money or 2) make them take their chances in the for-profit environment of the private medical sector. Either way, if you're not able to self-pay, the risk of staying sick or dying due to insufficient care is quite high. In the case of mental health, it's literally as simple as declaring somebody cured (I've seen it done). It's a little harder with a cancer, heart or liver patient. You simply tell them that their insurance is no longer in force and to go away. In any event, the patient is done a disservice. In the end, though, it really doesn't matter. Please note that the actuaries, accountants and attorneys are in control (as is evidenced here by cash values being placed on care costs and stated as the most important issue). The impression we should be left with is that health care is too costly at any price and costs transferred elsewhere....anywhere but here.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @Flawed logic - your logic is flawed

    "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax."

    They also don't claim pensions. Work out how much someone living beyond 65 costs the state every year ... I suspect you'll find, again, these healthy types are a drain on the system .....

  22. Tawakalna

    Eat LARD..

    ..'cos it's good for you!

  23. Scott

    Food Tax

    "...smokers (and drinkers, for that matter) contribute vast sums of tax to the exchequer every year by resolutely sticking to their deadly vices."

    The vices of the obese can similarly contribute if food taxes are levied (if they are not already being collected in your locale). Maybe we should consider a sort of junk food tax.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    So..... rather then charging vice TAX, we should be receiving a vice subsidy.

    I look forward to my rebate and in the mean time free booze and fags all round!

  25. Martin Owens

    The only result

    Is that our culture will have to offer suicide as a respectable solution to those sane of mind at any adult age, with or without illness. The logic says that because I am my own person the one thing I should always have control over is my life. And yet our culture and society doesn't even let people end their _own_ lives, how selfish is that.

    Ah well another 50 years and we'll be forced into it anyway.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward

    Eat more (still a skinny bugger though) *check*

    drink more (off to Poland at the weekend) *check*

    smoke more (Poland has cheap fags) *check*

    drive faster (own BMW + therefore the whole road!) *check*

    ban seatbelts (I'll try to forget)

    ban motorbike helmets (Doesn't make much difference on 1000cc bike) *check*

    take up extreme sports (Snowboarding at the end of the month)

    stop filling in pot holes (They already have!)

    end the nanny state (I wish)

    ban health warnings on food and electrical items (I'm off to Poland and can't read Polish!) *check*

    I think that's me sorted then... Nice knowing you lot

    Sto lat, Sto lat... (actually... maybe "czterdziesci lat" would be more accurate!)


    (Anon just in case the boss sees!)

  27. Derek Hellam

    Oh really? I don't think so

    I'm not a burden on the State, the State is a burden on me! They don't own me, although organ grabbing makes it look that way. These chumps are supposed to be in "power" to represent my interests, our interests. We pay huge amounts in tax and national insurance and then told we are a burden? The burden are the politicians, and people who produce this stuff. Let us put them all on an ark and send them off to look for new worlds!

  28. Guy

    @Chris W

    This smoking, beer swilling fat git is definitely not a sponger, currently paying super tax, so how the fluff can I be called a drain on the social? propping it up more like at the moment. Also chris do you not go down to the pub, or with views like that have they barred you?....if you had any mates to go with in the first place

  29. Sam

    Even quicker

    -get admitted to a hospital in a trust that has consulted with Resolve healthcare consulting by Mark "31 million down" Rees, and his girlfriend Rose "90 dead" Gibb....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris W

    "Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive."

    Mmm... When are we going to stop discrimination in all forms? Maybe when we uprise and kill all the tossers who spout shite like this.

  31. system

    RE: @Flawed logic

    "Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive. "

    Funny, I always figured those who rant about "out of work spongers" were greedy, tax dodging gits.

    Even if your assumption is correct, those "spongers" are simply putting what money they do receive in jobseekers right back into the treasury.

    "22 per cent of the retail price plus £105.10 per thousand cigarettes" (HMRC site) means that cigarettes generate at least 72% tax as 1000 would cost around £210 at retail prices. When was the last time you put 72% of anything in to the treasury?

  32. Dan
    Paris Hilton

    Healthy = more

    Fair enough a healthy person costs more than an unhealthy person because they live longer.

    But then a healthy person lives longer and contributes more money in taxes.

    The only person who could contribute more is a "healthy" smoker who pays exorbitant tax on their ciggies (as an ex-smoker that still annoys me I used to have to pay all of that tax,) and lives longer and pays more tax.

    So surely we should all become healthy smokers :) Sure we'll cost more, but we'll easily cover that with all the tax we'll pay.

    P.H. as I've confused myself lol

  33. Mark

    Dead Men Don't Get Handouts

    Heard of "Widows pension"?

    The only dead person who is a benefit to society monetarily is the dead single person with no family.

    Kind of sucks, really.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Chris W, are you quite sure?

    @ Chris W.

    "Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers.."

    Presumably, as you're reading el Reg, you've at least a passing interest in IT. Want to take a gander at your nearest IT support department and then go away and think about what you just said?

  35. Peter H. Coffin


    Considering that there's already pressure on NHS to not treat those with "unhealty lifestyles" ( and I'm finding very conflicting studies concerning whether smoking or obesity themselves causes absenteeism or whether that's an association with other factors, such as simply being older than 25, I'm thinking that being a fat puffer would likely end up saving money in the long run.

  36. Jesse

    Well at least

    Dead people can still vote in America.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live and let die

    As far as I'm concerned smokers should be free to commit suicide and waste their lives if they want to. The only conditions should be:

    1. They mustn't inflict harmful or toxic by-products on other people (including their children)

    2. They mut never get healthcare priority over people who aren't hell bent on self destruction

    3. Smokers caught with non-duty-paid cigarettes should lose their NHS entitlement as they're ripping off everyone else

    4. I shouldn't have to kiss them / be breathed on by them

  38. Dave

    It was done years ago

    I thought some US tobacco company once commissioned a similar report to show that smokers were not a drain on the system and came to the same answer - because they mostly died before getting to pensionable age, they did indeed not burden the system. The report was suppressed at the time because it was somewhat embarrassing to them.

    As for all the fat and lardy types who've already commented, I'd like to recommend as a must-read site.

  39. LaeMi Qian

    As Sir Humphrey Appleby said in 'Yes Minister'

    "think of all those smokers laying down their lives so that the rest of us can have better health treatment"

  40. David Evans


    "But then a healthy person lives longer and contributes more money in taxes"

    Not so. The "healthy person" will have paid far less tax as they went through their working life, and stop paying income tax when they retire - I don't know the actual figures but i'd guess the average retiree's tax outgoings from all sources (e.g. VAT etc) is borderline break even or even a loss for the government. The only way your argument would stack up would be if the unhealthy were kicking the bucket a long time before normal retirement age, but they probably aren't.

    I've always figured the smokers and drinkers were subsidising all the other sanctimonious b*stards and it looks like I was right. We need a big war to level the playing field and whinnow out some of the fit people. That'll teach 'em.

  41. Red Bren


    Out on a work do and a contractor who earned 3 times what I did was heard to say, "I don't pay my taxes so layabout students can drink!" He wasn't very happy when I told him his sentence was complete after the first 5 words...

  42. Steve Browne

    End the nanny state !

    Judging by the comments here, the nanny state will never end. If you don't want to smoke, then don't, stop lecturing me about it. If you don't want to eat burgers and chips, don't and I don't need lecturing on that either (I don't eat burgers anyway)..

    In fact, one of the most healthy persons I ever worked with, was a major liability to public services as he kept falling off mountains and injuring himself. He had one leg shorter than the other through so many breakages.

    The biggest cost to the state are children. No one suggests we should eliminate them, now, do we ?

    This country used to matter in the world, why?, because we cared. Wonder why we don't matter any more.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @Chris W

    "Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive."

    Fuck you! I pay 40% tax, have private health care AND am smoking and drinking myself to death.

    After reading your post I don't know why I bother now

    I also don't read the daily mail

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Considering the massive taxes on cigs and i'm sure up and coming tax on fast food, i think you'll find a massive amount of tax payers money comes from these nasty habbits to begin with, so die 20 years younger but pay that 20 years of missed tax in indulgence.... and as was mention the inheritance tax... dont even get me started on that

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    On that basis ...

    ... we should all encourage the growth of cot deaths, because if 99% of babies were to die in their first 6 months, something like 99% of NHS expenditure could be saved.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Health: logic vs. religion

    The religious belief that smoking causes cancer prevents the implementation of a compulsory smoking policy which would reduce the incidence of age-related neurological conditions and thereby reduce the health costs attributable to old age. Nobody told you there were health benefits from smoking, did they?

  47. serge

    This is similar to a previous study

    Philip Morris sponsored a study some years ago in the Czech Republic to examine costs imposed by smokers on society. The result was that the state actually saves quite a bit of money in pensions and has a net gain due to the early deaths of smokers. The report was pulled as it was deemed not politically correct.

  48. Ishkandar

    Flawed logic

    @ Retarded Coward - I would like to dispute the flawed logic that dead men pay no tax. Please check on the tax situation of Freddy Mercury's estate and the royalties that are still coming in for his songs !! Unfortunately, you'll have to fight your way through that horde of vampires, sorry I mean HM Inspectors of Taxes, to get at em.

    @Kevin Kitchen - Not true !! You have conveniently missed out the exorbitant taxes on booze and fags consumed during their lifetimes !!

    @Jaap Stoel - By the time you get Alzheimers, you'll forget where you put that suicide pill !!

    @Steve Browne - tis because ever since the Great Mrs. Thatcher suffered the Ides of March, we've been electing one nanny state government after another !! What you votes is what you gets !!

    Flame cos it the nearest representation of my lighter !

  49. Mark

    Re: This is similar to a previous study

    "The report was pulled as it was deemed not politically correct."

    Or was it because the report wasn't correct?

    Did you check the situation or did you jump to the conclusion?

  50. Charles Hammond

    Death Tax.

    Wrong Dead people do contribute in taxes. Ever heard of the Estate Tax?

    You die they sell your property, and someone else pays tax.

    I dont know if they have inheritance tax on your side of the pond.

    Someone has to bury you or incinerate your remains. Then there is the auction to sell all those items you have been hording.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    As a card-carrying fat smoker,

    I can testify that I pay upwards of £40 per week on cigs (at least £30 of which is TAX), about £20/week on fast food and to top it off >£50/week on petrol (>£40 TAX). Don't even start me on other taxes. Costs to NHS so far: £0. Future costs to NHS: £0 (private healthcare). As for being an 'out of work sponger', I'm an electronic engineer and company director.

    So take your heath-facism and stick it up your skinny, lentil eating, bicycle riding ARSE.

  52. Les Matthew

    "Dead people don't contribute anything in tax"

    You want to bet?

    Never heard of "Death Duties"?

  53. Dave Cheetham

    I gave up smoking and joined a Gym

    I want to take this opportunity to apologise for the increases in your taxes. I joined a Gym to try and get myself in shape and also gave up smoking, and oh my God, it is all down to me. If I hadn't believed those scientists and politicians, the economy might not have gone into meltdown. What can I do to put it right.

    Anxious of Brighton.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Present value

    If the smoker costs 167K in over the next 20 years, and the healthy person costs 210K over the next 40 years, the smoker is more expensive. (for those who don't understand this, the simple analogy is that you will pay MUCH more than the value of your home mortgage over the life of the mortgage, as you received the present value up front, and now are paying the future value spread out over many years).

    Without an accounting for the time-value of money, this is a useless statistic.

    Same for tax revenue from various people. Not that this makes it any easier, but without it, you are just blowing smoke.

  55. Charles Fuller

    The "previous study"

    This whole subject was covered in the "The Smoke Screen" episode of Yes, Prime Minister. For a summary of the plot take a look at - "Humphrey points to the fact that cigarettes produce 4 billion pounds a year in tax revenue. Jim Hacker points out that smoking related diseases cause 100,000 premature deaths a year, but Sir Humphrey argues that otherwise these people would have cost the government financially even more in pensions and social security." and the show was broadcast in 1986.

    For those of you who don't know of the show (or have never watched it):

    - Maggie Thatcher used to arrange her diary to be able to watch it since she liked its accuracy;

    - It was very, very well researched and many stories either had occurred or occurred after an episode was shown(!).

  56. P. Lee
    Paris Hilton

    re: flawed logic

    I love these "costing the taxpayer" articles.

    e.g. not paying road tax "costs the tax-payer", living longer "costs the taxpayer".

    I've noticed that people in the 25% tax bracket (or lower) pay less tax than those in the 40% tax bracket. This must be costing the tax payer billions.

    I say we kill them all. Or deport them (they're probably mostly furrin immigrant health tourists) or just lock them up for being a burden on society. I reckon we could do that under RIPA.

    Paris, because even she knows playing dumb can be a nice little earner and that's a larger contribution to society than these reports.

  57. skeptical i


    At least fat beer-swilling smokers can get care in the UK; here in Amurka the "obese" (I think this definition changes year to year) and smokers pay insanely more in insurance premiums than we skinny, lentil- eating, bicycle- riding arses do, if, of course, any insurance companies would deign to insure them.

    (BTW, this particular arse has no problem with folks who drink, smoke, or whatever; life is short, make it worthwhile. 'Sides, with the current administration doing all it can to run this country into the ground, I have plenty else to worry about.)

    Now some political half- wits in Amurka think that the solution to our current healthcare problems is to force everyone to buy insurance (the "logic" being that the healthy people won't file as many claims, and their "contributions" will pay for the not- so- healthy folks' care). As if paying for corporate middlemen to bungle things up (whilst skimming enough to keep stock/ shareholders happy, and most likely still reserving the right to "cherry pick" whom they insure -- the phrase "pre- existing condition" has become a lethal weapon) is going to be any better than guvvamint bungling it up directly. Sounds like "leave no HMO behind" to me.

  58. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up


    <high five>

    Re the American insurance problem. Simple fix, get pension funds to vary contributions based on actuarial lifestyle statistics. Lose on the swings, win big on the roundabouts. The fact that (most?) pensions charge a flat rate to all and (all?) medical insurance varies from person to person is yet another example of the systemic discrimination against smokers that the health nazis have foisted on us.

    The looks on the faces of non-smoking, transport-avoiding, vegetarian fitness freaks when they realise that they're going to have to pay for all of their retirement rather than relying on us to do it for them would be worth seeing.

    Off to rebel a bit now......

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Live fat,

    die young. Leave a cost-effective corpse.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    Death is not a negative outcome

    As a CEO from a large American health insurance company once said to me.

  61. Spleen

    @Chris W

    "Smoking beer swilling fat gits tend to be out of work spongers so they hardly contribute anything whilst alive."

    Abstentionists tend to be holier-than-thou priests, social workers, politicians and other assorted parasites who contribute absolutely nothing while alive. Unlike smokers, they result in a net loss to society because of the amount of time they spend making everyone as miserable as they are.

    Generalisations are fun!

  62. IanKRolfe

    @Jaap Stoel

    "I will stop dieting at once! Bring on the fries and burgers!

    On second thought, I think by the time I get Alzheimers I will opt for a suicide pill."

    Trouble is, by then you won't be able to remember where you put them!

  63. Anonymous Coward

    Carbon Doughnut Print

    All those healthy gym goers convert more complex carbohydrates into CO2 and heat. Excessive exercise is a direct cause of global warming.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the pension!

    If you also add pension lets say average £57 per week given that average age expectancy when healthy is 80 od years opposed to around 65 for non smoker that is 15 years * 52 weeks * £57= £44K we won't take into account tax contributions as most smokers at least have the decency to last into their sixties. Lets start handing out the ciggies!!!!! Oh and the kebabs and for that matter the Gin.

  65. Mike Crawshaw

    RE: Chris W / AC "Live And Let Die"

    Live & Let Die AC -

    "1. They mustn't inflict harmful or toxic by-products on other people (including their children)

    2. They mut never get healthcare priority over people who aren't hell bent on self destruction

    3. Smokers caught with non-duty-paid cigarettes should lose their NHS entitlement as they're ripping off everyone else

    4. I shouldn't have to kiss them / be breathed on by them"

    Does 1 also apply to automobiles? Airplanes? Manufacturing? All these produce much more harmful / toxic by-products on other people. And you can't just stand upwind of them.

    Does 2 also apply to alcoholics and drug addicts? How about people who contracted HIV/AIDS through people hell-bent on self destruction by having sex? How about people who crossed the road thinking that car would slow down for them? Or who went and climbed a mountain, then needed helicopter rescue because they didn't bother to check the weather before they went? People using mobile phones? Eating beef? They're all asking for it, right?

    3. Fine, as long as you apply the same logic to people who pirate music/movies/software, sneak into concerts etc cos they're all ripping off everyone else. Contractors? Yeah, they probably use some creative accounting. Strike them off too.

    4. I don't want to kiss you either.

    At £5.50 for 20 Marlboros at the moment, a 20-a-day smoker sees £3.18 of every pack go straight to the Treasury (22% retail price, plus £108.65 / thousand cigarettes), totalling £23.66 per week, not allowing for smoking more on a Saturday night. That's an extra c£1,250 tax a year more than a non-smoker. And a conservative estimate.

    (PS how any "beer swilling fat gits" on Jobseeker's Allowance of £59.15 a week can afford to smoke in meaningful amounts - let alone drink - is beyond me)

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I worked...

    For a tobacco company in the '90s.

    In 1995 it was calculated that tax on the UK tobacco companies as a whole, paid the ANNUAL Defence Budget - EVERY DAY!!!

    Also, Customs and Excise had an office that overlooked the Warehouse floor and a cheque was delivered to their office at 5:15pm every day, this of course was for the duty - not the tax, either way it's still a lot of money

    That was over 10 years ago, so how much is being contributed today and where is all that money going?

    Black Helicopter? Why not?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strategic Budget

    Lets see if the Government have the courage to see the benefit in this research;)

    Excise duty on Tobacco and alcohol to be held at current level, the government will also decrease VAT on Fast food to zero percent. (that way all the fag sucking, gin swigging lard arses will cark it just in time to miss their pension also avoiding a long term drain on the health service)

    A carbon consumption enhancement credit, companies and individuals will be given tax credit based on there Carbon Footprint. (Oils will become scarce creating conflict which will have benefit in increase trade for defence companies, with the additional effect of stopping the Gulf Stream leading to an overall temperature drop in the UK which will further reduce pension payments when the old people cark it earlier due to pneumonia).

    Large increase in social security benefit to unemployed families. (So the scrounging buggers will cark it quicker and not be a drain on the state for all their useless lives).

  68. Roger Paul


    I'm suprised no one has commented on the amount of time it takes to accrue this £210'000 bill... Unless I've just missed it during the skim read...

    If you live 40 or 50 years, die fat and rack up a 180 grand bill, you're costing (the health service at least) more than the person who racks up 210 grand over 70 or 80 years.

    Don't smoke, go for a walk.

  69. kieran
    Dead Vulture

    Fat Tax!

    Tax anyone with a waist line over 40"! Bring in the fat tax so those bastards can contribute too!

    I hasten to add I'm joking. Personally I think people who go to the hospital anytime anything seems slightly abnormal (eg, chesty cough, slight sniff) cost the NHS more than obese people.

  70. Gavin Nottage
    Thumb Up


    I always knew that smokers and drinkers paid more tax, and thus helped oil the wheels of the treasury. Statistically more likely to die earlier too, so that's less pension paid out. Thanks to everyone who dies earlier than they would have done. I may feel slightly sorry that you have to stand out in the cold and wet to smoke, since you're subsidising things for me. It does go some way to giving a rational reason for so many health workers smoking - so that they don't have to be on the other side of treatment (and are instead on "the other side").

    I also feel miffed at the large gas guzzlers on the road paying more fuel duty per mile than my econobox, since it means the world will run out of fuel sooner. On one hand thank you for keeping my taxes a bit lower, on the other, let me past!

    The world has too many people, and the UK is increasingly getting an aged population. What should be done? Perhaps nothing...

  71. Kevin Whitefoot

    Re: As a card-carrying fat smoker,

    @ AC As a card-carrying fat smoker,

    >Costs to NHS so far: £0. Future costs to NHS: £0 (private healthcare).

    >As for being an 'out of work sponger',

    >I'm an electronic engineer

    So you just call the local telly repairman when you get sick then?

  72. michael

    yes pm pedent

    the actual quote form the unbeatable sir humphry is

    "Yes, but cigarette taxes pay for a third of the cost of the National Health Service. We are saving many more lives than we otherwise could because of those smokers who voluntary lay down their lives for their friends. Smokers are national benefactors."

    "not that there is any corsal link between smoking and lung cancer"

    (apoliges for the bad spelling)

  73. Anonymous Coward

    If anyone needs a hand to shuffle off this mortal coil:

    try to eat, drink and be merry; try a little charity parachuting, just make sure you're killed rather than merely seriously injured; try heroin, crack cocaine or the legal expedient of drinking yourself to death; try free climbing when it's raining; try crossing the road without obeying the green cross code; try juggling hand grenades with the pins out; try Russian roulette; try whatever the f&% you like to kill yourself provided you don't take any innocents with you.

    I think people should not be prevented from doing things which are injurious to their health provided they do so under circumstances which don't endanger anyone else's life, e.g. junkies of all persuasions should be able to buy their gear from government approved sources, hence paying tax at a level sufficient to ensure a net win to society over their, hopefully, short lives.

    I find smokers to be thoroughly objectionable people on the whole who imagine that it's ok to pollute other people's air just because of the massive amount of tax they stupidly pay(my heart bleeds). We've at last started the fight back against such selfishness. The only problem I can see is that smoking only really half of all smokers. Perhaps they could add something to cigarettes which kills the other half too?

    @Mike Crawshaw above who thinks £1250 is a lot of extra tax to pay, he's clearly not earning enough money to afford his habit and is therefore doubly stupid.

  74. Ishkandar
    Black Helicopters

    Oh dear

    The bleeding heart brigade who tootle around in Chelsea Tractors are tell off the smokers for polluting the air !!

    Hello, Kettle. This is Pot !!

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Healthcare costs?

    Maybe I missed it, but did this study take into account the healthcare costs of someone dying from a smoking-related illness - or, not dying from it, and living for years with a condition such as emphysema which requires constant medical treatment?

  76. Anonymous Coward

    The easy way to solve this...

    We simply stop funding healthcare for women aged 70 or over, they've already had far more tax spent on their health than they've paid in taxes.

    This will within ten years even up the spending between the sexes, and equalise the ages of death. A lot more men about means I won't have to listen to my mother and thousands of other women (never paid tax ever,) moan on about how

    a. I'm on my own.

    Curiously, I've thought of suggesting she try suicide, if she thinks my dad's had it easy by being dead.

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