Quitting smoking saves society a lot of money
There is persistent sentiment that the government would like us to smoke, because that excise tax generates a lot of money. So smokers pay indirectly for Dutch society. But is this actually the case? KWF Against Cancer thinks otherwise, and had the costs for society calculated.
Smokers make money
A pack of cigarettes is outrageously expensive. Across the border, tobacco is a lot cheaper, although prices are also rising rapidly there. The excise duty goes directly into the state treasury. So more people who smoke means more income for the government. In addition, smokers die a lot younger on average, so they catch less AOW or pension. Should non-smokers send a bunch of flowers to smokers on their deathbed as a thank you?
Quitting smoking saves much more
Reality is not as simple as just suggested. Because smokers don't just drop dead after smoking for a (short) life. Over the years, they develop lung and heart problems, and many other conditions that can be temporary or chronic. Smoke also has an impact on the environment, so non-smokers can also get sick. Sickness benefit, medication and research into smoking-related complaints also cost tons of money. And then there is the impact on the environment through packaging, transport and waste processing. All told, smokers cost society much more than they contribute with excise duty. So it is not at all a sensible income model for the Dutch state.
You save by stopping
Not only can you help the government by quitting, you can also feel it in your own wallet. Quitting smoking just has no drawbacks, it's just hard to get rid of this habit. In addition to alternative products such as gum, patches or e-cigarettes with nicotine, there are also therapies, both individually and in groups. Part of this is reimbursed by insurance, you can also invest in your health yourself. Extra years on the clock are not only good for yourself and your family, it also benefits society. So thank you for stopping! Where can we send the bunch of flowers?