163 million? Let's have a fag and take a closer look.

Cost of smoking to East Lancashire's economy calculated as £163million

It's not just a cost, it's a 'shocking' cost.

THE shocking cost of East Lancashire’s chronic smoking problem has been revealed for the first time as £163million per year.

It's also an inaccurate cost. Let's take a closer look.

This figure includes £33.5million alone in lost productivity from workers taking smoking breaks

Where I work you get a set number of breaks. If you smoke then that's when you have one. Other companies allow smokers more discretion when they take breaks. Sometimes more ideas are created and decisions made in the smoking shelter than anywhere else.

I remember working as assistant manager at a pub in my hometown. The staff had a 20 minute break in each shift but we allowed smokers to nip for a quick ciggy if the pub was quiet. Some non smokers complained that the smokers were getting more breaks and it should be stopped. I went the opposite way and said anyone, smoker or non smoker, can take five minutes when the pub is quiet provided they didn't take the piss, smoker or not.

Some of the non smokers tried this for a week or so and gave it up as being too pointless and boring. The complaining stopped and I never lost a minute of productivity.

I think we can safely scratch that 33.5 million, bringing our total down to 129.5 million.

and £28.8million from smoking-related sick days.

What's a smoking related sick day? Is it when you smoked too many fags the night before? I don't think so. The only thing I can think of that would be classed as a smoking related sick day would be long term absence due to multi factoral diseases that can be related to smoking. Employers tend to have sick pay schemes that are funded from the wage pot anyway. Some don't even pay sick pay. Employers make allowances for employees having time of work on the sick; you can't say that smoking related illnesses are costing them money.

I think we can scratch that too. 100.7 million.

It estimates that £47.7million is lost in output due to early deaths caused by smoking

Not a single penny is lost due to early deaths. People are not cash cows and they are not duty bound to stay alive as long as possible in order to keep working and paying taxes.

The cycle is continuous, if one worker dies they will be replaced by another. Their value as a worker or taxpayer ends there. Any suggestion that you can calculate what the would have been worth is nonsense.

Scratch that too, right now. 53 million.

and £8.5million due to early deaths caused by passive smoking.

As nobody has ever been killed by passive smoking anywhere, ever, that's an easy one to scratch. 44.5 million.

and the cost of clearing up smoking materials £2.9million.

Smoking materials make up part of the overall litter that needs to be cleaned up. If nobody smoked, the bill for clearing litter would be exactly the same because it still needs to be done.

Scratch 2.9 million leaving us with a final figure of 41.6 million.

Ash calculated that smokers in East Lancashire spend £185.3million on tobacco products each year, paying roughly £141.2million in duty to the Exchequer.

Excellent! So smokers in East Lancashire are in credit to the exchequer to the tune of nearly 100 million pounds.

When you cut away the fat you can see how smokers are funding the NHS, not just for themselves but for every bugger else too. Maybe we should start bleating on about paying for non smokers healthcare, just like they do about us.

And:

The assistant director for Lancashire Public Health Network, Paula Hawley-Evans, welcomed the tool.

I think that means the tool who came up with these figures.
Read the whole article. ASH's conclusions are bollocks.

*Update*

All the comments agree with me so far. Nobody beleives this rubbish. That's quite refreshing.

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