Monday, 7 June 2010

Surprising admission

Via Sue, via Taking Liberties, via EU Observer, from an official EU document:

The macroeconomic cost* of tobacco-related diseases has been estimated at €2.46 billion euro per year. This consists of over €1.3 billion euro constituting medical expenditure on tobacco-related diseases (including €560 million accounted for by non-smoking staff) and over 1.1 billion euro constituting non-medical costs linked to productivity losses (including €480 million accounted for by non-smoking staff)...

The [tax] revenue from tobacco sales across the EU in 2007 is estimated at €67.089 billion.

So next time you're trapped in a conversation with bansturbators, nod sadly and lob in the first stat to murmurs of approval, and then mention the second one as an afterthought. I suppose it's a question of comedy timing.

* Of course, they missed off the macroeconomic saving due in state pensions due to earlier deaths, I can't be bothered doing the maths but it's €100 billion across the EU, to the nearest order of magnitude.


dearieme said...

Observe too that half the costs mentioned are probably sheer invention: "by non-smoking staff" - hah!

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, yes, that bit is completely made up, but The Righteous will turn that on its head and say "A minority of smokers cause a lot of harm to themselves and just as much to non-smokers" :-)

It was the ratio of costs €2.5 billion to income €67 billion that cheered me up.

Chuckles said...

'It was the ratio of costs €2.5 billion to income €67 billion that cheered me up.'

You are in touch with your inner accountant are you? I tend more towards calling in airstrikes when I see such.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ch, my inner accountant says that as much as a minority of non-smokers abhor non-smokers, each non-smoker in the EU is being subsidised to the tune of £200 a year.