Saturday, July 16, 2011

Smoking costs Ireland €365million every year


Smokers are costing Ireland
€1million a Day
(And YES this is a Sustainability and Environmental Issue and not just a rant!)

If you smoke, you are not just injuring yourself and your family, you are also a part of the €365million a year of extra burden on the economy -  through lost working days, medical costs, and related costs.

So what can we do about this? My wife and I learned some very good principles in our study of psychology which we applied to rearing our children. One of these principles from Alfred Adler states; "the more responsible I become - the less responsible you become".

If we apply that principle to this situation you get; "the more the state takes responsibility for smokers and the consequence of their actions, the less will smokers feel the need to take responsibility".

By making all smokers feel fully responsible for all the consequences of their actions, it will do far more than any advertising campaigns to get across the message. But how do we apply consequences in this situation?

A few suggestions:

1, Smokers have to pay more for medical services for any condition affected by smoking. Already many surgeons will not operate on smokers because of the risks involved. What if smokers were charged say 30% extra by way of a special tax to cover the extra burden and risks, do you not think that it would get the message across in a very powerful and perhaps painful way?

2. Tax on environmental pollution. Smoking caused a lot of rubbish on our streets etc. It poisons the air we breath, it wastes natural resources. Place separate taxes on the manufacturers, the retailers, and the users.

3. Make it legal for prospective employers to turn down an applicant on the basis they smoke.

4. Refuse sick pay to smokers who are out of work with related illnesses.

Sounds Harsh?

Yes it sounds very harsh - but this is reality. What is NOT reality or realistic is the current situation where I can abuse myself in any way I want and you have to pick up the bill for my behaviour. As it stands our society is placing a safety net under this abuse. Take away the safety net, and the tight-rope walkers will have to be more careful.

To be perfectly honest, I believe the the same set of rules should also apply to all those that abuse drink or drugs. I would go one further regarding hospital A and E wards full of drunks on the weekend, IMHO there should be a minimum charge for drunken individuals of €500. This would help cover the cost of security for the hard-pressed staff, it would cover the cleaning up of vomit and other fouling, and it might even lessen the numbers of self-abused individuals taking up scarce resources needed by those more deserving of them.

So what are your feelings on this? Is Ireland starting to think more realistically? I would be happy to hear some realistic comments.


No comments: