Cost Of Smoking Deeper Than Many Realize

by Jay Israel

It is amazing how much in the generality of minds the cost of smoking lacks appreciation of its fullest extent. To many people the smoking cost is limited to the ill health that follows after years of uninterupted individual internal distruction due to cigarette smoking.

In actual fact the distruction caused by smoking really goes far beyond the dangers of smoking to the individual. The cost transcends economics, society and the environment every year.

An individual smokes about 20 cigarettes a day that amount to about US$1600 per year. You can check how much is saved by not smoking using a quit meter

Unfortunately, even though there is total regard and concern for the health of the smoking individual much more regard should be accorded to innocent individuals in public places.

The cost of smoking to the health of others through second hand smoke and third hand smoke is well understood hence a barrage of smoking laws banning smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants in many states in North America alone.

Smoking over the years has caused unprecedented cost to public healthcare. This cost is borne by each and every tax payer in the form of billions of dollars to take care of people suffering from smoking related lung cancer, cervival cancer, cardiovascular disease amongst other things.

Smoking costs the NHS in the UK more than US$2.4 billion every year. This cost would altogether include treatment programs, medication for those who are sick, and anti-smoking campaigns amongst other things.

Even though more and more people are quitting smoking, the cost is still high and increasing. It is increasing partly due to expensive medical procedures and drugs associated with quit smoking treatment. For example a relatively new stop smoking drug - Chantix will cost up to US$1000.00 per person for a complete program.

Tougher tobacco laws in developing countries have seen a new scramble for tobacco farming contracts in developing countries such as India and Africa by western tobacco companies.This in countries like Malawi has resulted in renewed food security threats as farmers opt for more paying tobacco over food crops.

The resulting ,tree cutting to clear more land for tobacco crop has its own impact on the fight aganist global warming and deforestration.

This demand for tobacco crop from developing countries is also leading to child exploitation as under-age farmers as well as accelerated environmental degradation due to use of old and out-dated farming technologies. The smoking cost is apparent.

Clearly what would appear in North America as a big cost of smoking is in actual fact bigger than many realise. It cascades right to the poorest members of any given community in Africa or Asia.

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