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Smokers should pay FAR less tax

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    I do not think that it is fair at all, considering that smokers pay more than they take from the NHS. Should smokers pay far less tax?
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    It's just another form of social engineering by successive governments to push people towards a healthier lifestyle whilst not necessarily ignoring their civil liberties on smoking, but certainly making it harder. But what do I know? I don't smoke.
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    The tax & subsequent high cost of cigarettes work like a deterrent. I have no doubt if cigarettes were cheaper then those who are young, and subsequently have the least money, would smoke more.
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    This guy is a troll.
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    No, smokers should just be taxed less in the first place.
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    No, the tax is firstly a deterrent to dissuade people from smoking.
    Secondly, the money taken in tax is most likely less than is used by the NHS on treatments related to smoking habits e.g: teeth, lung problems etc ...
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    I think people are obsessed far too much about money really. You simply cannot look at NHS smoking costs in comparison to smoking income. What about the huge emotional distress it causes to the millions of people who are close to those who die - causing extended time off work/school etc.? What about the millions of hours of volunteer work for those dying due to smoking, which otherwise could have helped others? What about the myriad of sickness benefits available for those dying of smoking related causes?

    I'm not convinced that, taking into account social factors, smokers are paying out any more than their fair share. In fact - as I'm personally much less concerned with money as I am with people's welfare (not smokers in particular - but, for example, the distress that may cause a 13yr old to go off the rails after witnessing their mum die a painful death to cancer) - I'd go as far as to say they should be paying MORE tax than they are now.
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    Only if they accept that they should get no NHS treatment for anything their smoking causes.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Only if they accept that they should get no NHS treatment for anything their smoking causes.
    But they more than pay for it? It's half of the ****ing selfish non-smokers who are draining their taxes on their treatment.
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    (Original post by Otkem)
    But they more than pay for it? It's half of the ****ing selfish non-smokers who are draining their taxes on their treatment.
    How is not smoking selfish?

    What percentage of the cost of cigarettes is tax?
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    (Original post by Otkem)
    But they more than pay for it? It's half of the ****ing selfish non-smokers who are draining their taxes on their treatment.
    Do you have any figures that show that tax revenues from smokers actually pays for all of the costs they cause to arise, though?

    If you do, I'm more than happy to look at them and if it does show that to be the case I shall agree with you.
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    (Original post by Otkem)
    I do not think that it is fair at all, considering that smokers pay more than they take from the NHS. Should smokers pay far less tax?
    I hope you get lung cancer and then have to get treatment from the NHS.
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    (Original post by smithsmith)
    No, the tax is firstly a deterrent to dissuade people from smoking.
    Secondly, the money taken in tax is most likely less than is used by the NHS on treatments related to smoking habits e.g: teeth, lung problems etc ...
    I am definitely not a smoker, but this is untrue.

    If I remember correctly, the cost to the NHS of treating all smoking relating diseases is ~£2bn, and they raise roughly £9bn from the duty specifically on tobacco products, and another ~£2bn on the VAT on said products.

    I do think it is wrong that smokers pay so much tax. Recent governments have used it to help balance their books, because "an extra tax of only a few pence per cigarette" can raise hundreds of millions of pounds. And most people don't care because they aren't smokers -> Easy money where not many people complain. It is honestly taking advantage of peoples' nicotine addictions.

    I should point out I don't believe cigarettes should be cheap, but the duty is starting to get ridiculous now.
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    (Original post by smithsmith)
    No, the tax is firstly a deterrent to dissuade people from smoking.
    Secondly, the money taken in tax is most likely less than is used by the NHS on treatments related to smoking habits e.g: teeth, lung problems etc ...
    No, the cost to the NHS of smoking-related illnesses is £1.5bn a year, whilst the tax revenue from tobacco product is £7.5bn.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Do you have any figures that show that tax revenues from smokers actually pays for all of the costs they cause to arise, though?

    If you do, I'm more than happy to look at them and if it does show that to be the case I shall agree with you.
    This PDF shows that in 2011, ~£9.5bn was raised from tobacco duty, with an extra ~£2bn raised from the VAT on those products (although you could arguably not include VAT because presumably if not spent on tobacco, this money would have been spend on other VAT-able items).

    I won't hunt down the figures right now, although I have seen them. The NHS spend on all smoking related illnesses (so including the spend on people with lung cancer, etc. but who didn't smoke) falls between £2bn and £3bn.

    I should point out I am not a smoker, but feel the tax is getting way too high.

    EDIT:
    This publication suggests the cost of smoking-related illnesses is in fact close to £5.5bn, revised up from the £1.5bn estimate in 1998. Even if we agree the cost to be close to $6bn (which is certainly the very top end of estimates), it falls far short of the £9(+2)bn raised from taxation.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    How is not smoking selfish?
    I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that non-smokers live longer so we're more a burden on the world's resources... I guess there is a point there in a way, but the same argument could also be used in favour of geronticide.
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    Really smoking should be made illegal so that other more useful areas of the economy can get more public investment.
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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that non-smokers live longer so we're more a burden on the world's resources... I guess there is a point there in a way, but the same argument could also be used in favour of geronticide.
    But OTOH, we generally don't end up with smoking related illnesses. (I know passive smoking does cause problems)
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    Really smoking should be made illegal so that other more useful areas of the economy can get more public investment.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Only if they accept that they should get no NHS treatment for anything their smoking causes.
    How about just abolishing the NHS so ALL costs are distributed in a way which reflects individual lifestyle choices?

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Updated: May 18, 2012
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