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Bitter Truth Of Smoking Infographic
It is not a fresh piece of news that smoking is harmful for our health and even for people who don’t smoke but are around smokers, as passive smoking can inflict great harm as well.
The infographic below contains all bitter truth about smoking, some of the numbers and facts are just surprising. Look through the infographic, study these facts and be ready to give up such a bad habit.
If you are non-smoker, the infographic also will be useful for you to remember that you’d better limit staying with a person while he/she is smoking. What is your stance on smoking?
Click on image to enlarge
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Jul 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm
Slim truth in fat and smoking figures
November 23, 2011 – 11:39AM.
A leading actuary has lampooned health lobby figures on the costs of smoking and obesity as being extravagantly inflated and based on suspect methodology.
“The numbers are all over the place,” writes Geoff Dunsford in the September edition of Actuary Australia. And they are “big numbers” – the implication being that they are too big.
“Obesity costs $58.2 billion,” he exclaims, “that’s around twice the cost of age pensions!”
The sheer size of the numbers, argues the Sydney actuary, perverts government policy. It can lead to poor spending decisions. The credibility of the numbers from the health lobby is therefore critical to government policy.
The press and the public have been led to believe that the costs to the system are higher than they really are so the government can “justify use of taxpayers’ money on measures to reduce its prevalence and prevention”.
Dunsford looks at three public health issues: obesity, smoking and depression.
1. “….obesity …. drains the national budget each year by $58.2 billion”, (Sun Herald report, March 13, 2011).
2. “…smoking … costs our society $31.5 billion each year”, (Nicola Roxon, media release, April 7, 2011).
3. “Depression-associated disability costs the Australian economy $14.9 billion annually”, (beyondblue website)
In the first case, the newspaper story was based on an Access Economics report for Diabetes Australia titled, “The growing cost of obesity in 2008: three years on”.
Access Economics estimated the cost of obesity to Australia at $58.2 billion. And sure enough, this enormous headline number promptly bobbed in the press.
On Dunsford’s analysis, however, the figures are flawed, skewed by the “non-financial” estimates to make obesity seem a lot more costly to the taxpayer than it really is.
The costs break down as $3.9 billion for the health care system, $4.4 billion in “other” costs relating to lost work days, taxes forgone and other productivity losses.
Then there is the big one: $49.9 billion in “non-financial costs”. This relates to “burden of disease” or the personal cost of obesity. Dunsford asks, “how come this is included in a total in an announcement which appears – at least superficially – to represent real money costs?”
The “burden of disease” numbers are calculated by working out “years of life lost through disability and premature death” and Access came up with $6.35 million for the value of a statistical life (VSL) and $266,843 for the value of a statistical life year (VSLY).
Dunsford argues that it is taxpayers and consumers who will end up paying for all this statistical life.
“The elaborate details on labels of packaged food products in supermarkets are testimony to the current massive regulations supporting such details, but more are planned by Food Standards Australia NZ and the National Preventative Health Taskforce,’’ he says.
From there it would only be “a short step” to include take away food and restaurant meals and, already, in certain states of the US, it is a requirement for restaurants to display the calorific value of their meals in the same size print – “including on billboards!”
‘‘The cost of administering the regulations (to the government and the food industry, all of which will ultimately be paid by consumers) will be mind-boggling, but with a focus on the desire to reduce the $58.2 billion cost of obesity, such actions can readily be justified.”
Tobacco figures are smokin’
Geoff Dunsford is similarly wary of the costs estimates for smoking.
Assessing the anti-smoking lobby’s $31.5 billion cost figure – found in “The costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs abuse to Australian society 2004-05” by David J Collins and Helen M Lapsley – Dunsford once again shines the torch on the “non-financial” costs and “intangible costs”.
Of the $31.5 billion, some $19.5 billion are “intangible costs” – that is psychological costs of premature death borne by the smoker and others. Then there are $9.4 billion in “other financial costs” for productivity losses (smoko breaks perhaps?) and $2.2 billion in “non financial costs” such as unpaid labour costs.
In the Collins and Lapsley report there is a discount for savings to the health system from premature deaths. But this is only $700 million on the $1 billion in actual costs to the health system.
On the more nebulous costs, estimated by a “demographic approach”, the focus is on the additional number of persons who would have been alive today had there been no smoking deaths over the past 40 years.
“An estimate of 369,161 was provided to the authors by John Pollard (he had no other involvement with the report).”
To get to this $19.5 billion, the authors multiply the reduction in the population (369,161) by the value of the loss of one year’s life ($53,267), after adjustments.
As Dunford points out, this report puts a different value on life than does Access Economics. Whether Access prices obese people more highly than skinny smokers – or Collins and Lapsley believe smokers are worth less than one-third of the value of fat people – we can’t be sure from “the literature”.
Indeed each report mentions “the literature” and the large variation in assumptions included in “the literature”, although they also fail to explain, he says, why the numbers they adopted were relevant to their particular health problem.
In addition, the “value(s) of a statistical life” and the “value(s) of a statistical life year” adopted were significantly different ($6.35 million and $266,843 for obese people, and $2 million and $53,267 for smokers).
Presumably – and these are our words not Dunsford’s – the pricing of a statistical life would also become more complicated when calculating the demographic of people who are both obese and smokers. Do we just average out the $6.35 million and the $2 million?
Dunsford however does point out the gross hypocrisy in the government’s position on smoking and revenue. Governments reap very fat profits from smokers.
Subtracting the financial costs of smoking to the health system at $300 million, plus taxes forgone (from statistical smokers) at $2.9 billion, from the $6.7 billion in taxes levied by state and federal governments on tobacco products, leaves $3.5 billion in profit.
Dunford says the higher welfare payments to smokers could be offset by the pension savings from higher smoker mortality. Still, a $3.5 billion profit from smokers is a tidy amount for the budget.
When it came to the publicity for the “plain packaging” initiative, it would have been helpful, says Dunstan, to cite the $31.5 billion in “costs to society” rather than a more realistic figure.
“Indeed, assuming the media release’s (Roxon’s office) expected reduction in adult smoking from the current 16 per cent of the population to 10 per cent is achieved, the reader could be forgiven for estimating the ‘cost’ to fall by … $11.8 billion,” says Dunstan.
But such an assumption would be wrong as the methodology is flawed.
“The problem with the … definition of costs is the way in which past drug abuse is incorporated into the costs for a given year,” says Dunsford. ‘‘Indeed, if all smoking stopped, (this) methodology would still generate a large cost of smoking in the next year by virtue of the effect of the past deaths.
“This is rather counter intuitive! Arguably it renders the methodology meaningless for the purpose of addressing cost reduction initiatives”.
‘Burden of disease’ missing
Finally, Dunsford points out that in the case of the beyondblue calculations, the $14.9 billion of annual costs to society from depression did not include a ‘’burden of disease’’ number.
“Does this reflect the often suggested lack of interest by the government in mental health problems? Not so. Burden of disease numbers are available which show DALYs (disability adjusted life years) due to depression are significant – particularly when associated causes of death, like suicide, are included.” he says.
He estimates that about $33 billion of non-financial costs could be added to the annual cost numbers for the personal impact on the loss of wellbeing from the burden of depression.
Dunsford’s work is further proof we can’t place much store in lobby group costs claims. It’s more a case of plucking out a big number and working out some methodology to justify it.
Jul 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm
PURE PROPAGANDA 4000 CHEMICALS MY ARSE!
Only about 800 actual chemcials have ever been trapped and identified in tobacco smoke! The actual chemical breakdown is right here from the SURGEON GENERALS REPORT 1989 PAGE 80………..
About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.
4 % is carbon monoxide.
6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
(1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).
Jul 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm
This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:
Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.
By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.
Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.
What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.
“I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………
Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!
The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:
Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.
146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.
A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.
Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!
Jul 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm
If you’re afraid of second-hand smoke, you should also avoid cars, restaurants…and don’t even think of barbecuing.
here are just some of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke and what else contains them:
Arsenic, Benzine, Formaldehyde.
Arsenic- 8 glasses of water = 200 cigarettes worth of arsenic
Benzine- Grilling of one burger = 250 cigarettes
Formaldehyde – cooking a vegetarian meal = 100 cigarettes
When you drink your 8 glasses of tap water (64 ounces) a day, you’re safely drinking up to 18,000 ng of arsenic by government safety standards of 10 nanograms/gram (10 ng/gm = 18,000ng/64oz) for daily consumption.
Am I “poisoning” you with the arsenic from my cigarette smoke? Actually, with the average cigarette putting out 32 ng of arsenic into the air which is then diluted by normal room ventilation for an individual exposure of .032 ng/hour, you would have to hang out in a smoky bar for literally 660,000 hours every day (yeah, a bit hard, right?) to get the same dose of arsenic that the government tells you is safe to drink.
So you can see why claims that smokers are “poisoning” people are simply silly.
You can stay at home all day long if you don’t want all those “deadly” chemicals around you, but in fact, those alleged 4000-7000 theorized chemicals in cigarettes are present in many foods, paints etc. in much larger quantities. And as they are present in cigarettes in very small doses, they are harmless. Sorry, no matter how much you like the notion of harmful ETS, it’s a myth.
Jul 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm
Judge doesnt accept statistical studies as proof of LC causation!
It was McTear V Imperial Tobacco. Here is the URL for both my summary and the Judge’s ‘opinion’ (aka ‘decision’):
(2.14) Prof Sir Richard Doll, Mr Gareth Davies (CEO of ITL). Prof James Friend and
Prof Gerad Hastings gave oral evidence at a meeting of the Health Committee in
2000. This event was brought up during the present action as putative evidence that
ITL had admitted that smoking caused various diseases. Although this section is quite
long and detailed, I think that we can miss it out. Essentially, for various reasons, Doll
said that ITL admitted it, but Davies said that ITL had only agreed that smoking might
cause diseases, but ITL did not know. ITL did not contest the public health messages.
(2.62) ITL then had the chance to tell the Judge about what it did when the suspicion
arose of a connection between lung cancer and smoking. Researchers had attempted
to cause lung cancer in animals from tobacco smoke, without success. It was right,
therefore, for ITL to ‘withhold judgement’ as to whether or not tobacco smoke caused
[9.10] In any event, the pursuer has failed to prove individual causation.
Epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case, and the
use of statistics applicable to the general population to determine the likelihood of
causation in an individual is fallacious. Given that there are possible causes of lung
cancer other than cigarette smoking, and given that lung cancer can occur in a nonsmoker,
it is not possible to determine in any individual case whether but for an
individual’s cigarette smoking he probably would not have contracted lung cancer
(paras.[6.172] to [6.185]).
[9.11] In any event there was no lack of reasonable care on the part of ITL at any
point at which Mr McTear consumed their products, and the pursuer’s negligence
case fails. There is no breach of a duty of care on the part of a manufacturer, if a
consumer of the manufacturer’s product is harmed by the product, but the consumer
knew of the product’s potential for causing harm prior to consumption of it. The
individual is well enough served if he is given such information as a normally
intelligent person would include in his assessment of how he wishes to conduct his
life, thus putting him in the position of making an informed choice (paras.[7.167] to
Jul 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Hope for diabetes patients: in animal experiments one injection of FGF-1 (Fibroblast Growth Factor-1) stops type 2 diabetes in its tracks: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716131541.htm
As always when a new miracle medicine is hailed in the media, I check the effects of tobacco on the same biochemical mechanisms leveraged by the new drug. The ancient medicinal plant didn’t disappoint this time either — as shown in this paper (pdf) — it boosts the same protein FGF-1 by 50% and related FGF-2 by 100%: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1471-4159.1998.71062439.x/full…