LETTER: Smokers pay way?

IN response to my learned friend Mr Don Burchess whom advised that smokers actually fund our health system in the NewsMail July 15.

I'll quote some facts firstly from the budget review 2016/17 available on the web.

"Tobacco excise serves two main purposes.

"Firstly , it is a source of revenue that is justifiable due to the negative consequences that result from tobacco consumption. It has been estimated that tobacco consumption imposes costs of around $31.5 billion per year on the Australian community, chiefly through increased healthcare costs.

" These costs are significantly higher than the excise imposed on tobacco. Secondly, tobacco excise helps to reduce the affordability of tobacco products, and to thereby decrease their level of consumption.

"Raising tobacco taxes has been found to be one of the most effective means for governments to reduce tobacco use and the associated negative health impacts of smoking.

"Hence, it can be expected that reductions in tobacco excise revenue will be accompanied by big savings in health and other costs over the longer term," -end of quote.

December quarters estimated expenditure on tobacco products, and please note the falling taxes this would correlate to with a base mark from way back in 1959.

• $5.135 billion in September 1959;

• $3.720 billion in December 2012; and

• $3.260 billion in December 2015.

So do the math on this and the sums simply don't add up, we the community of non smokers are paying for your addiction to smoking.

Some other facts from the federal health department -we can thank our loyal smokers for 750,000 beds each year taken up by smoking related illness.

It is estimated by Clean Up Australia 7 billion of the 24 billion cigarettes sold end up as litter with over 50% of urban litter being that related to smoking packaging.

A further estimate of bushfire costs related to littering from lit butts reaches 150 million dollars in damage to property.

The costs to our environment thus are enormous and I might note Mr Burchess did not address that issue at all.

I think the facts speak for themselves



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