As we are about to be asked to pay $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years in extending medical insurance benefits to almost everyone in the nation, President Obama's "struggle with smoking" becomes more relevant. The annual US health care costs related to tobacco related illness is estimated at an astounding $96 billion, with a further loss of productivity cost of $97 billion. The total health care and lost productivity costs per packet of cigarettes are estimated at $10.28, whereas the average cost of a packet of cigarettes including sales tax is less than half that at approx. $4.80.
The President is in the ultimate leadership position, the people follow the example of their leaders; here we have our leader continuing to smoke cigarettes while at the same time asking the nation to pay out $1 trillion over 10 years for health care, when if people simply stopped smoking and using tobacco products the savings in health care costs alone would pay for the health care coverage that President Obama is proposing.