Wednesday, November 28, 2007

RM15 Million Spent On Sokes Everyday!

That was what appeared on the inner pages of The Star of 22nd November 2007. The report originated from China Press which quoted Health Ministry Parliamentary Datuk Lee Kah Choon as saying. He regarded it as a worrying trend and smokers should quit the habit and spend the money on something beneficial.
Lets do some arithmatics and see how much is burnt in a year of 365 days - a whopping RM5,475,000,000.00! More than enough to bail out the PKFZ fiasco. Captain Yusoff of The Ancient Mariner will be happy to know that the bailout came from smokers who would just burn their money anyway.
The Ministry's Disease Control Unit also reported an upward trend in the number of young smokers. That is indeed worrying to every parents as your children may develop that habit too if you don't watch out or continue smoking infront of them and setting an example for them to follow. That was what my wife said of me when my sons were found to be smoking while still in schools. The father set the example, a bad one. Hantu Laut had his daughter to contend with.
Another statistic released was that 1 of 33 smokers is a female. The female smokers numbered about 274,000 in the nation. I wonder if the study include the few millions of migrant workers working in Malaysia.
When you are in a packed footbal stadium, you can observe the smokers lighting up their ciggy across the field. Every seconds of the time you can see flashes of the lighter being used to light up the ciggarette. I guess smokers tend to smoke even more when they are excited.
On November 24, 2007 The Stars put up another small one column news on page 33 with the title "Smokers taking up half of annual health budget". According to a health economist, The Government has to spend RM3 bil to RM3.8 billion each year from 2004 to 2010 on smokers treated in public hospitals for ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive airway disease, said Prof Dr. Syed Mohamad Aljunid, senior research fellow at the Unite Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). By the year 2010, the overall cost projected is RM480 billion said Prof Dr. Syed Mohamad, who is colloborating with five other academicians on a study of healthcare costs. "It costs taxpayers alot of money" he added.
His studies indicated that 25 percent of the population smoke.
We all know that smokers are paying a hefty tax for their pleasures but are they paying enough? If they are not enough then it means that the non smokers are also paying for their treatment beside having to bear the second hand smoke from the smokers which is reported to be even more dangerous. If that be the case than it is better for the government to increase the tax on tobacco so that the smokers themselves will pay for the treatment of the disease as a result of smoking.
Related article: Click here.


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