Doesn't cigarette smoking actually save the government money?

When the government wants to jack up taxes on cigarettes, they always use the reason that it’s to pay for the health costs due to smoking.

Now,it seems to me that that is a bs argument. Because I believe that taxes aside, cigarette smoking tends to save the government money.

Just think about it. We all have to die some time. And usually, the health care at the end of our lives is much more expensive than at any other point in our lives. And most of us will have some sort of expensive to treat disease at the end of our lives, be it heart disease or diabetes, cancer or kidney failure,alzheimers or stroke.

Now, smokers die a lot sooner than nonsmokers, 6 years sooner on average, I believe. So it’s true that smokers average higher health costs at an earlier age. However, nonsmokers average higher health costs at a later age.

In the meantime, during the period between the average age of the smokers death and the average age of the nonsmokers death, the senior citizen is collecting all sorts of benefits such as social security, medicare, and the like. So by the time he/she dies, years later of some expensive to treat malady, they have collected tens of thousands per year in government benefits.
And then there is diseases like Alzheimers. The older one gets, the more chance that they will come down with it. Its also expensive as hell to take care of an Alzheimers patient. I would wager that smokers have a much lower rate of getting full blown Alzheimers, simply because they tend to die before they reach the age when it becomes more common.

So, even if smokers didn’t pay any taxes on their smokes, I would bet that smoking saves the government money. What do you guys think?

Not to make any comment on your argument, but do you really expect a beauocracy to have foresight?

Never thought about it before, makes good sense to me. Of coarse i dont think they would ever admit to this reasoning.

I believe there was a study in Europe that showed exactly that. And it makes complete sense.

The fact is, everyone consumes a lot of medical resources in the last year of their life. Smokers just do it earlier.

Here is one debate of the numbers.

One point:

FWIW, Sam Stone…the study you are probably referring to was done in the Czech Republic by Phillip Morris. They later backed away
from their claim that smoking had a net benefit for socety.

So, did they back away from the study because the alleged benefits of smoking were untrue? Or did they back away from the study because the benefits of smoking were confirmed, but people didn’t like hearing that smokers died a lot sooner than nonsmokers?

Don’t know, I don’t work for Phillip Morris…the only thing they have said was:

FTR, I’m not an economist, but what little reading I’ve done on this leads me to believe that this is not an easy equation to analyze. Different studies factor in different total “costs” that smokers place on society…so you end up with different conclusions.