Thursday, June 01, 2006

Reduce health care costs: stop smoking or chewing tobacco

A recent World Bank report in 1999 published that by 2030, the single and most effective killer of adults is tobacco. Right now, 1 out of every 10 deaths are caused by tobacco. That's right -- for every person that dies around the world, 1 out of 10 is caused by someone smoking tobacco or chewing it. By 2030, with the current trends, it will be causing 1 out of 6 adult deaths.

We don't need a truth commercial to tell us that tobacco kills. Every smoker I've ever met knows the facts about tobacco's dangers to their health and to other people (second hand smoke). But what many don't know, is many healthy people around the country that doesn't smoke are paying for this unhealthy habit.

Tobacco Users Raise Health Care Costs
According to the CDC, about $89 billion a year is spent on public and private health care for tobacco related illnesses alone. And this number is expected to rise as more than 500 million smokers around the world are expected to die from tobacco within a few decades. Health care companies raise premiums based on how healthy their subscribers are and unfortunately, the more smokers are in a policy, the higher the cost for everyone -- including those that do not smoke.

That's a lot of money for a vice that isn't necessary!

I'm not trying to attack smokers out there, but I am saying that there are certain, undeniable truths in the world, one of which is smoking raises health care costs. The control of health care costs still belong to the individual in a democratic, capitalistic country.

The cost of health in this country is a direct reflection of our society's physical well being: whether we smoke, whether we exercise, whether we are drug dependent, whether we eat a healthy diet, whether we sue doctors for every minor infraction, and so forth.

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