I was wandering around the web looking for more information to add to Cost of Smoking when I can across this article about how Fat Smokers Save You Money. While this really doesn’t have anything to do with personal finance per se (unless you want to count that you are giving the government a lot of extra money by passing away too soon), it was an interesting read so I thought it was worth sharing.
Chain smokers and obese people represent a great deal for us taxpayers, because they generally pay into Social Security and Medicare for years and then drop dead before collecting the benefits. Smoking doesn’t cost taxpayers money. It costs lives…
Probably the biggest problem with the “smokers and fat guys cost us money” argument is that such calculations never include the health care costs of people who don’t smoke and aren’t fat. If somebody doesn’t smoke or eat too much, that doesn’t mean she’ll live forever without any health problems. It just means that she’ll die of some other costly health care problem, probably later in life when she’s on a taxpayer-funded health plan (Medicare). In fact, it can be even more expensive for us if she doesn’t smoke or eat too much. Think of the costs of long-term care for Alzheimers versus the costs of a heart attack.
There are a lot of valid points in the argument, but if you smoke, you’re still costing yourself a lot more than if you didn’t.