Tuesday, December 8, 2009
If ever there was a no brainer, this is it. The only thing missing are the Congressional and Presidential balls to do it. The ill-health that smoking causes costs this country a fortune. According to the CDC (“Smoking and Tobacco Use” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), smoking costs the United States – you and me — $97 BILLION PER YEAR in lost productivity, plus $96 BILLION PER YEAR in avoidable healthcare expenses — plus another $10 billion per year associated with secondhand smoke. For those of you too stunned to do basic math, that’s a total of $203 BILLION PER YEAR.
The President and Congress like to talk about healthcare reform in terms of a 10 year period. Okay, $203 billion per year, times 10, is $2.03 TRILLION. (My apologies for the excessive use of capitalization, but I’m frustrated about this beyond belief.)
It’s time the American people, on behalf of those of our countrymen and women who can’t help but smoke, for reasons of fiscal responsibility, and to better enable us to afford healthcare reform for all of us… It’s time we demand that Congress make the sale and consumption of cigarettes illegal – as illegal as any narcotic or other controlled substance that threatens the health of its constituents.
Would some of you please e-mail, call or write your Representative, Senator and President Obama and tell them that no healthcare reform legislation is acceptable unless it includes a national, comprehensive ban on smoking and on the sale of tobacco for that purpose? If you’re too busy, just e-mail them the link to this posting or, if you like, leave a comment, including the state where you live, and I’ll do my best to get it to them for you.
For additional reading… “Making Cigarettes Illegal” posted on the Wordfeeder, August 30, 2009.