The anti-smoking group ASH is claiming that “Treating smokers costs the NHS in England £2.7bn a year, compared with £1.7bn a decade ago". As such, they have policy suggestions to nudge, embarrass and generally slap smokers about the face until they wield to the unquestionable god-given will of those that would rather you didn’t.
However, that £2.7bn is not the whole picture, as smokers pay in excess of £9bn per year in taxes. Thus, instead of deriding the cigarette lover for using NHS resources, we should all gather round and thank them wholeheartedly for ploughing £6.3bn per year for the running of the state. So next time you are walking down the street and you hear the wheezing cough of a 40-a-day man, doff your metaphorical hat and thank him for helping the sick of this country.
In fact, in recognition the great work that smokers do, I suggest that we have a national smoking day in which we celebrate these great state benefactors. Perhaps our rulers will be kind enough to open up the doors of the once populated pubs of this country, allowing smokers to partake of that quaint pastime of smoking a cigarette while drinking a pint.
If not, I fear rebellion. The smokers of this country could demand a tax rebate of around £700 every year, and why not? If such a situation arises, may I suggest the government takes the much criticized ID Card scheme and transforms them into smokers loyalty cards to be accredited at newsagents and supermarkets with every purchase. At the end of the year these points could be turned into cash.
Alternatively, the government and ASH could simply leave the good smokers of this country alone.