A Conversation for Cigarettes

Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 1

The rabbit in your headlights

Well if wasn't for smokers the NHS would be in a worset state than it is now for if it wasn't for smokers they would not get that amount of money. most of the TAX put on fags help he NHS hugely. so really all you people who are patronising and rude about smokes think about this next time your in hospital we the smokers of the UK are paying for your some if not most of your treatments.


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 2

Ste

I'm tremendously glad to know the smokers smoke not out of their personal addiction, but in an altruistic attempt to save the NHS. smiley - winkeye

Welcome to h2g2 by the way. If you write some stuff on your userpage then people can pop over for a chat and give you an official welcome and show you around a bit.

smiley - cheers

Stesmiley - earth


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 3

amdsweb

Not really the case these days.
1) A huge proportion of the fags smoked in the UK are now smuggled from overseas.
2) People who die of lung cancer due to smoking stop contributing to the NHS either through tobacco duty or through their National Insurance payments.
3) Smoking-related illness is INCREDIBLY expensive. On top of your cancers (chemo for lung cancer is really really expensive), you have your heart disease, vascular disease, lung disease, etc.

It is a popular urban myth put about by smokers that they pay for the NHS. Revenue from fags accounts for a tiny fraction of the cost of the NHS, and it is more than used up by the smokers themselves.

PS: I am a doctor. I am also a smoker.


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 4

Pandapig

Doc,

Getting in late on the conversation but I'm a new h2g2 user. I quit just over 2 months ago after nearly 30 years on the smokes. So I try to steer clear of smoky places but I DON'T lecture smokers about how they ought to give up too. It's their decision.

IMO the best incentive to quit is a good dose of bronchitis like I had just before Xmas. All smokers know about the dangers of lung cancer etc but it's 'something for the future'. A nice case of bronchitis lets you experience some of the pleasures of lung cancer without the inconvenience of dying. Quitting is easier 2nd time round too. (I'm not including the innumerable occasions when I've stopped for a day or 2). The first time I quit for 6 months then got started again cos I thought "Hah, I can handle 'just the one'" WRONG. So, second time around I'm confident that I can kick it because (a) I did it before and (b) I now know that even one fag will turn you back into an addict.

I used some nicotine patches for a bit but found that if you use them every day they have nasty side effects like insommnia (the standard GP procedure seems to be to prescribe 24-hour patches. WHY? There are 16-hour patches on the market which do just as well).

The advice I got from my GP was basically "you smoke 20 a day so use a full-strength patch every day for 4 weeks, then a lower-strength one for another 4 weeks, then a minimum-strength one for the final 4 weeks." As mentioned above I hated the insomnia bit so stopped using the full-strength patches after 4 days, went back and got lower-strength 16-hour ones, after another day or 2 I decided I didn't need one every day, and only slapped one on if I knew I was going somewhere I'd be tempted to smoke - like the pub smiley - smiley I've still got a few left from a pack I bought 6 weeks ago smiley - laugh

Sorry about the lengthy rant, I just thought as a British medic you might be interested in hearing about the experiences of a patient vs. the expectations of the GP. Maybe some people DO need a 12-week course of patches to come off. On the other hand, these things are commercial products and I wonder if their sales tactics are aimed at getting people to use as many of the damn things as possible?

Enough for now.
smiley - cheers


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 5

GreyDesk

Ah-ha! Another example of the hoary old chestnut that smokers cost the NHS a disproportionate amount of money in comparison to everyone else. There is only merit to that argument if one looks at the cost of diseases typically suffered by smokers. I would agree that if one looks at lung diseases in isolation than smokers are hogging the resources.

What the argument does not address is the lifetime impact that an individual has on the resources of the NHS. In general terms it is expensive getting born, then you cost quite a bit as a child. Once you've hit 18 though your costs go down and down and you're as cheap as chips until you are about 60. From this point on your use of NHS resources climbs steeply until at over the age of 85 you're costing 12 times as much as you did at age 40!

Now lets consider the tax issue. Yes, I agree that a large proportion of cisgarettes smoked in the UK are purchased in Europe and smuggled over to England. Heck, I do it myself from time to time! But even so the tax revenue on cigarettes is still equivalent to approximately 20% of the resources spent on health care in the UK. Now consider what would happen if all of the smokers gave up smoking all at the same time. The tax revenue would drop by some £9billion and, yes, there would be a drop in the demands on the NHS as all these smokers stopped dying of lung cancer etc. BUT these people would come back into the health care system 10 years later with some other terminal condition such as dementia or bowel cancer. And you now wouldn't have the tax revenue from cigarettes available to support this new demand for healthcare.


The bottom line is that everyone costs money, it is just that the money is spent in different ways between smokers and non smokers. Any savings to the healthcare system that are made from a reduction in cigarette smoking are strictly non recurrent.



(and of course I haven't even touched on the cost of the pensions that have to be paid out to all of these increasingly elderly non-smokers smiley - winkeye)


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 6

Pandapig

Not going to get into the tax revenue vs. NHS costs debate - too complicated smiley - smiley

Before I quit I thought that the taxes on cigs in the UK were outrageously high and hence like you I would sometimes buy a pack from the 'dodgy geezer outside the Tube station' at half UK price. Just like to point out that I found out recently that most of these are not smuggled into the country, they're just counterfeit. So what you're smoking is the sweepings off a fag factory floor mixed with god-knows-what. So stick to the over the counter versions, even though they're ridiculously expensive!

smiley - cheers

smiley - panda (We demand a pig icon!)


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 7

GreyDesk

Actually I buy mine mail order from a reputable supplier in Portugal.

He makes a hefty profit on every pack sold, and I make a saving of 50% on every pack I buy. So we're all happy - except Gordon Brown that is smiley - laugh


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 8

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

Quite right, too. You make sure you keep those cancer surgeons in work smiley - smiley


Removed

Post 9

Pandapig

This post has been removed.


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 10

red&white4life

I too have kicked the weed some 8 weeks prior to this post and i take great pleasure in informing smokers of the health risks. I smoked 40 a day in the end (built up over a period of 20 years) and enjoyed every single one of them. So if i am not enjoying them anymore why should anyone else, i also work in a ciggie factory so it is even more unfair. Do i now qualify for some sort of tax rebate?
This is also my first ever post to h2g2, so how do i add smileys then?


Somking and the NHS (UK)

Post 11

Pandapig

I didn't realise you worked in a cig factory, how do you hack it? (Excuse awful pun) I enjoyed *most* of the innumerable cigarettes I consumed, although some tasted shite and I just needed the nicotine. As for not lecturing people, I never appreciated people lecturing me when I smoked so I don't see the point. I *DO* get stroppy smiley - grr when people jack one up in 'No Smoking' areas.

All the smileys are basically codes you insert in your messages. There's a full list on http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/Smiley

smiley - cheers


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Somking and the NHS (UK)

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