Become a Fan
This was my first nationally published article, on the subject of tobacco costs to society. It was written as a refutation of the notion then being popularized that tobacco pays its way.
In response to your July Question of the Month, the facts show that tobacco is an enormous drain on the country and contributes significantly to inflation . . . In a two trillion [dollar Gross National Product] GNP economy, inflation of 12 percent would mean $240 billion. Tobacco abuse has destructive effects on productivity, to the extent that it is responsible for over half of inflation.
It is subject to governmental control. The question is whether the government has the will to control it, rather than use methods that attack symptoms rather than causes.
With the estimated $40 billion cost of alcoholism [90% linked to tobacco], over 2/3 of inflation [in 1980] is due to drug abuse in some form [worse now, 2007].