There is a question that has been bugging me for some time.
I was reading Róisín Shortarse’s framework for tobacco control in Ireland and I came across That Figure again. Incidentally, this is the same Róisín Shortarse who thinks raising the price of booze will cure all alcohol problems.
And what is That Figure you may ask?
“It is estimated that [smoking] related healthcare costs account for up to 15% of all annual healthcare costs here”
Strangely the paper then talks about “between 6% and 15% of all annual healthcare costs” which seems rather vague to say the least? And that would also assume that 85 to 94% of all healthcare costs are incurred by non-smokers?
But that’s beside the point. The point is
How do they estimate that smokers cost the health service €365 million a year? What exactly incurs these costs and how do they know they are “smoking related”?
I have been smoking now for over forty years. I have never been to the doctor with anything that could remotely be described as “smoking related”. I have had my medical trials and tribulations but none of them had anything to do with smoking. What’s more, I know a lot of people who smoke and they have the same story. Sadly I did know a few people who died of cancer but the majority never smoked in their lives.
So what is this mysterious ailment that is incurring these huge costs? Are they counting everyone who presents with a cough and assume that they are all smokers? Are they assuming that all cancers are “smoking related”? Is every child who presents with Glue Ear counted amongst the smoking casualties?
I would love to know where they get their figures from.
And why do I suspect that they are figures that are gleefully plucked out of the air to scare the sheeple?