LDP senator-elect David Leyonhjelm uses his AFR column today to shatter some of the biggest tobacco tax myths. My favourite is about smokers’ burden on the health system ($):
The claim that smokers hurt non-smokers indirectly by claiming more than their fair share of government spending is wrong. The evidence suggests that by dying earlier, smokers save the public purse. Smokers receive fewer years of age pension payments and incur lower lifetime public health costs than non-smokers.
A 2008 Dutch study found that, due to differences in life expectancy, lifetime health costs are highest for people with a healthy lifestyle, lower for obese people, and lower still for smokers. Other studies find similar macabre results.
For Leyonhjelm’s full demolition of other common misconceptions about smoking and tobacco taxes, read the full article here ($).