Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where’s the justice?

As I’ve said before I smoke. Not easy these days, what with the concerted effort made by society to ostracise me, but I ignore the snide stares from mothers sat outside pubs (by the way love, babies and beer?..not a great idea is it?) and battle on. Of course, one of the oldest weapons deployed against me is the cost of smoking. Not only am I taxed to a point beyond reason but I’m also told that I’m a burden on the tax system. Interesting double edged sword that. Let’s look at the facts. In 2006 about 100,000 people died of ‘smoking related’ disease; 40% cancer, 30% heart and 30% lung problems. Okay, point taken. In the same year the burden on the NHS to begrudgingly treat smokers was about 1.6 billion quid. Again, maybe this does justify the tax. Here’s some other facts and figures for the same year. 30,000 died from it. It cost the NHS £3 Billion. Any ideas? Well, it’s my cholesterol packed nemesis; the obese bloke sat with his double cream latte and stuffing doughnuts into his sugary gob whilst tutting his fat ass off because I’ve got the audacity to light up outside Starbucks. Where’s the justice? Why isn’t he paying 75% tax on burgers and chips and buckets of chicken?

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