For example, smokers cost the NHS, according to the government, £2.7bn. At the same time, they contribute to the exchequor, again according to the government, £8.8bn (rounded to one decimal place ... and rather more accurate than the cost guesstimate).
So, a £6.1bn surplus to the country, then.
Well, actually, it's more than that once you add VAT (£1.5bn) and pension savings (around £20bn)
But for some reason, the fact that smokers contribute a tax surplus to the economy of around £27bn is lost amidst the noise from those who do the exact opposite and actually do drain money from the state.
Just one of those things, I suppose.
However, it would seem that there is now another reason for smokers to be lauded.
Non-smokers Pay Lower Critical Illness PremiumsNow, insurance is a zero sum game. Risk is calculated to achieve a given profit margin for the insurer and the premiums set as a result. So for every policyholder who saves money, someone else pays extra.
According to a recent research carried out by Moneysupermarket and dedicated to the 3rd anniversary of the smoking ban in the UK, ex-smokers managed to save a total of £10,000 since 2007.
If such savings are being made by non-smokers, it follows that smokers are paying more ... unless the insurance companies have decided to unilaterally cut their profit margins, of course. Hardly likely, eh?
Great news for non-smokers, then. They get their health care paid for by smokers and also benefit from lower insurance premiums covered by tobacco users.
You'd think they would be laying palm leaves in our paths by now, wouldn't you? Still, we're not proud - a simple 'thank you' would suffice.