The BIG LIE That Smoking is an Economic Burden to Society

Anti-smoker corporations use health costs as a pretext for oppression

The Scott-MiracleGro Corporation threatens to fire smokers, under the pretexts that their health costs are higher - WHILE IGNORING THE ULTIMATELY HIGHER HEALTH COSTS OF NON-SMOKERS - which they plan to pawn off on society through Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

Workplace Health Fascism

The Big Lie and the Tobacco Lawsuits

The state and federal lawsuits against the tobacco industry are founded on a Big Lie that smoking is an economic burden to society, i.e., that smokers do not pay all of their supposed costs, and that nonsmokers are forced to subsidize them through the government. Even in those lawsuits where the attorneys general try to be clever and avoid basing their suits on this claim because it could so easily be refuted, and pretend that their complaint is about "marketing to children" or some such, they still revert to using this lie to claim they suffered economic damages as a result. The anti-smoker media have purposely and systematically lied to the public by pretending that the governments suing the tobacco companies are merely "recouping" the "health costs" they were supposedly forced to pay through Medicaid.

Two-thirds of the pretended "smokers' health costs to society" actually consist of non-health costs which were paid by smokers' themselves, such as lost income. They are not costs to nonsmokers at all, nor are they costs to government programs such as Medicaid. These fraudulent smoking cost estimates also do not compare the health costs of smokers versus the costs of nonsmokers over the period of a lifetime. If they had, they would have found that smokers cost less, and they knew it. So they purposely committed fraud to make it superficially look otherwise. They pretend that if smoking causes a certain percentage of certain diseases, that therefore the cost to the government is that percentage of what the government spent treating those diseases. But this falsely pretends that those who suffered "smoking-related" diseases would otherwise not have had any health costs at all. They ignore the plain fact of reality that the government would simply be paying for their deaths a few years later, after collecting a few extra years of Social Security.

Politicians Manufactured This Big Lie to Persecute Us

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S.2466, the Health Services Research, Health Statistics and Medical Technology Act, on Jan. 31, 1978. It was cosponsored by Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R-NY), Sen. Richard S. Schweiker (R-PA) [who was US Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1981 to 1983 under President Reagan), and Harrison A. Williams Jr. (D-NJ). It became Public Law 95-623 on Nov. 9, 1978. It passed the Senate in a roll call vote on Aug. 9, 1978, and the House on Sep. 25, 1978. The Conference reports were approved on Oct. 13 and 14, 1978.

The Institute of Medicine received the contract for the "Planning Study for an Ongoing Study of Costs of Environment-Related Health Effects" in 1979. The Chairman was Kenneth J. Arrow. The Panel on Health Costs were Ralph d'Arge; Ann Scitovsky; Alan Gerber of the National Bureau of Economic Research; and Thomas Hodgson of the National Center for Health Statistics. (Appendix G Work of the Committee. Planning Study for an Ongoing Study of Costs of Environment-Related Health Effects, 1980, p. 207.)

Appendix G Work of the Committee, p. 207 / NAP

The 1985 OTA Report

Those who created the fraudulent smoking cost claims knew from the very beginning that they were conspiring to commit fraud. They dealt with the very clear and obvious objections to their foredrawn conclusions in a disingenuous manner by dismissing them as "speculative" and "hypothetical," and attempting to conceal their dishonesty with a smokescreen of rationalization. Here is how the 1985 OTA Workshop on the Costs of Smoking dealt with these objections.

"Smoking-Related Deaths and Financial Costs," OTA 1985

Stoddart et al., 1986

Tobacco Taxes and Health Care Costs Do Canadian Smokers Pay Their Way? GL Stoddart, RJ Labelle, ML Barer, RG Evans. J Health Economics 1986 Mar;5(1):63-80. "Both initial estimates and the results of sensitivity analyses... rejected the hypothetical existence of a financial externality arising from smokers' health care utilization."

Stoddart - J Health Economics 1986 / UCSF (pdf, 20 pp)

Rice et al., 1986: CIA Lies!

The Economic Costs of the Health Effects of Smoking, 1984. By Dorothy P. Rice, Thomas A. Hodgson, Peter Sinsheimer, Warren Browner, and Andrea N. Kopstein. Milbank Quarterly 1986;64(4):489-547. Rice et al. falsely pretend that costs paid by smokers, such as sick days, were paid by society; blamed smoking for diseases that are caused by infection; and used the legerdemain of discounting, at 6%, as a financial sleight-of-hand to diminish non-smokers' costs more than smokers' costs.

Rice et al. - Milbank Q 1986 full article / UCSF (pdf, 31 pp)

Samuel R. Milbank was an officer of the Milbank Quarterly from 1934 to 1985, and Samuel L. "Tony" Milbank from 1974 to the present. Samuel R. Milbank's father-in-law was a longtime official of the infamous United Fruit Company. His sister-in-law's brother was inspector general of the C.I.A., and his nephew, David L. Milbank, worked for the C.I.A. in the Directorate of Plans, the Directorate of Operations, the Office of National Estimates, the Directorate of Intelligence, and the Intelligence Community Staff.

Shoven, Sundberg and Bunker, 1987 (The NBER Study)

This study warned that the OTA had ignored hundreds of billions of dollars in nonsmokers' Medicare and Social Security costs (JB Shoven, JO Sundberg, JP Bunker. The Social Security cost of smoking. National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 2234, 1987). It was briefly noted in the mass media, but was subsequently buried under the constant avalanch of anti-smoker propaganda.

Shoven et al NBER 1987 / UCSF (pdf, 36 pp)

Manning 1989 (The Rand Study)

This study was evidently intended as a backup plan to shore up the anti-smokers' claim that smoking is an economic burden to society, in case the OTA's flagrant disregard of nonsmokers' old age costs was too publicly criticized. (Thanks to their media accomplices, it has not been.) It introduced the subterfuge of "discounting" nonsmokers' old age costs to reduce them, while disregarding the present savings due to past smoking. Before the results were fudged by discounting, the study found that smoking created net savings of 91 cents per pack. This was inflated to a net external "cost" of 26 cents per pack after discounting nonsmokers' costs. (WG Manning, EB Keeler, JP Newhouse, EM Sloss, J Wasserman. The taxes of sin. Do smokers and drinkers pay their way? JAMA 1989 Mar 17;261(11):1604-1609.)

Manning - JAMA 1989 full article / UCSF (pdf, 6 pp)

The Rand newsletter

Rand trustees Harold Brown and John Reed were also directors of Philip Morris at the time. This is Brown's personal copy of the Rand newsletter noting the study. (Taxing 'sin' - should drinkers, smokers pay more?). It fixated on the supposed shortening of smokers' lives as the reason that smokers cost less, rather than the fact most of the alleged "smokers' costs" in the OTA study and its ilk were due to falsely pretending that costs paid by smokers were paid by nonsmokers, while simultaneously pretending that nonsmokers' costs did not exist. And, it fudged that smokers "just about pay their own way at current levels of excise taxes on cigarettes," rather than admitting the necessity of the discounting subterfuge to pretend that any net "cost" exists at all. Other Rand trustees at the time included Frank C. Carlucci (the Carlyle Group); Walter E. Massey; Newton N. Minow; J Richard Munro; Mary Lasker's longtime crony, former Rep. Paul Rogers; and Donald Rumsfeld, the present Secretary of Defense.

Brown's copy of Rand Research Report, 1989 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)
The RAND Gang

Falsely blaming smoking smoking for perinatal illness

In response to a letter to the editor of JAMA, Manning et al. purported to calculate the costs of smoking during pregnancy, using this specious reasoning. "Women who smoke during pregnancy have babies whose birth weights average 200 g lower, and smokers are twice as likely to have low-birthweight babies as nonsmokers. Low birthweight is one of the strongest predictors of use of a neonatal intensive care unit. A recent report on neonatal intensive care indicates that between 150,000 and 200,000 are treated annually in neonatal intensive care units; 50% to 80% are low-birthweight babies, at an average cost of $12,000 to $30,000. If we use the midpoint of each range, the estimated cost for neonatal care for low-birthweight babies is $2.8 billion... If up to one third of pregnant women persists in smoking and are twice as likely to have low-birthweight babies, then smoking may be responsible for up to one fourth of all neonatal intensive care unit costs for low-birthweight babies. This implies that our estimates of the direct dollar costs of smoking are too low by up to 2 cents per pack.

"In addition, the surgeon general estimates that there are up to 2600 infant deaths due to smoking during pregnancy. If we value these lives at the same $1.66 million that we used for adult deaths in our article and assume that the smoking mothers ignore the risks to their infants, then the resulting external cost not considered by the smoker is 14 cents per pack." (The Taxes of Sin: Do Smokers Pay Their Way? WG Manning, EB Keeler, JP Newhouse, EM Sloss, J Wasserman. JAMA 1989 Aug 18;262(7):901.)

Manning et al. JAMA 1989 (reply) / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

The fraud consists of the anti-smokers' deliberate use of defective studies, which universally lack placental examinations, in order to falsely blame smoking for perinatal illness that is really caused by chorioamnionitis. It is chorioamnionitis, in addition to conditions during pregnancy which have nothing to do with smoking, that are the true cause of the need for perinatal intensive care. The anti-smokers are purposely concealing the enormous, gold-standard study by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke which proved this.

Chorioamnionitis Causes Perinatal Illnesses Blamed on Smoking

An example of the CDC's scientific fraud of deliberately using defective studies to falsely blame smoking for perinatal illness caused by chorioamnionitis: Medical-Care Expenditures Attributable to Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy -- United States, 1995. MMWR 1997 Nov 7;46(44):1048-1050 (pages 12-14 of pdf document).

MMWR 1997 / Centers for Disease Control (pdf)

PS - On Dec. 18, 2002, the Associated Press reported that "The percentage of babies born prematurely in the United States reached a two-decade high last year, driven by an increase in twins and triplets [sic - this is spin. Rates increased in single births as well -cast]. The government also found a rise in prenatal care and a drop in smoking during pregnancy." They noted that there were fewer births to teenage mothers, too.

Manning et al.'s subsequent book

The Costs of Poor Health Habits. Willard G. Manning, Emmett B. Keeler, Joseph P. Newhouse, Elizabeth M. Sloss, and Jeffrey Wasserman. A RAND Study. Harvard University Press, 1991.

Manning, et al., 1991 / UCSF (pdf, 120pp, 9.5 MB)


SAMMEC II Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs. Computer Software and Documentation. Module 2: Methodology and Conceptual Issues. Project Staff: James M. Schultz, Thomas E. Novotny, and Dorothy P. Rice. Prepared for the Office on Smoking and Health of the Centers for Disease Control, DHHS, Oct. 1990.

SAMMEC II, DHHS full article / UCSF (pdf, 55 pp)

Tollison & Wagner, 1991

The Economics of Smoking: Getting It Right. By Robert D. Tollison and Richard E. Wagner. George Mason University, 1991.

Tollison & Wagner, 1991 full article / UCSF (pdf, 308 pp)

Hodgson 1992

Cigarette Smoking and Lifetime Medical Expenditures. By Thomas A. Hodgson, of the National Center for Health Statistics. The Milbank Quarterly, 1992;70(1):81-125. Hodgson concocted his smoking cost claims by the legerdemain of "discounting" non-smokers' future costs more than smokers' future costs, as Manning did also. He also falsely blamed smoking for diseases which are actually caused by infection, of which heart disease is the largest.

Hodgson - Milbank Quarterly 1992 full article / UCSF (pdf, 43 pp)

Raynauld and Vidal, 1992

In 1992, a Canadian study came out which addressed some of the glaring defects of the anti-smokers' studies. "Personal income losses are the main emphasis in most of the literature on the 'economic consequences' (cost) of smoking. For example, personal income loss represents 86 percent of the 'economic consequences' by Shillington (1977); 77 percent in Collishaw and Myers (1984); and 55 per cent in USDHHS (1990). It seems that all these were inspired more or less directly by DP Rice (1966)." (A Raynauld, J-P Vidal. Smokers' burden on society: Myth and reality in Canada. Can Public Policy 1992 Sep;18(3):300-317.)

They used the 1986 US Surgeon General attributions of diseases to smoking, which falsely blame it for diseases that are actually caused by infection. More importantly, they showed that this resulted in a worst-case estimate: Regardless of whether smoking risks were higher or lower than assumed, the net costs would decrease.

Raynauld & Vidal - Can Public Policy 1992 full article / UCSF (pdf, 18 pp)

Ault & Ekelund, 1993

(The Political Element in Science and Technology: SAMMEC II and the Anti-Smoking Lobby. By Richard W. Ault and Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. Center for Study of Public Choice, Department. of Economics, George Mason University, March 1993.) This describes the formula used by the CDC's SAMMEC computer program to calculate so-called "Smoking-Attributable Morbidity, Mortality and Economic Costs." The relative risks of particular diseases for smokers versus nonsmokers, and the proportion of smokers in the population, are used to calculate the "smoking attributable fraction" for each disease. This fraction is then applied to the total number of deaths and the total cost of those deaths to produce the supposed number of "deaths caused by smoking" and their purported "cost."

The main deficiency of this paper is that it fails to mention confounding by infection. The politically correct bogeymen of "diet, exercise, heredity, environment, occupation, level of health care," etc., which are accepted by the authors are either not important, or are merely inadequate surrogates for the true confounder. This inflates the relative risks used by the CDC in its calulations. This is particularly important for heart disease, which is the source of the largest number of alleged "smoking related" deaths (page 22).

The origins of SAMMEC: "SAMMEC, as a microcomputer software, was developed for the Minnesota Department of Health to calculate so-called smoking-attributable disease impacts for 'local' (i.e., non-national) populations. The software, originally developed by Shultz in 1985 and 1986 (see Shultz, 1985, 1986a) was applied by him to New York City, (1986b), formed the basis of a doctoral dissertation (Schultz, 1988a), and was refined into SAMMEC II at the Minnesota Department of Health in 1988 (Schultz, 1988b)," pages 44-45.

Ault & Ekelund, 1993 / UCSF (pdf, 53 pp)

"Schultz (1986b)" is: New York City: Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs. By James M. Schultz. Minnesota Department of Health, May, 1986.

Schultz (1986b) / UCSF (pdf, 17 pp)

The "Preventive Health" Hearings, 1993

These hearings before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging were designed to shill for "Hillary Clinton's Health Care Plan," which was masterminded behind the scenes by Roz Diane Lasker et al., and which proposed to make smokers fund the longtime Lasker goal of socialized medicine through exorbitant cigarette taxes.

Members of the Special Committee on Aging, Democrats: John Glenn, OH; Bill Bradley, NJ; J Bennett Johnston, LA; Richard Shelby, AL; Harry Reid, NV; Bob Graham, FL; Herb Kohl, WI; Russell D. Feingold, WI; Robert Krueger, TX. Republicans: William S. Cohen, ME; Larry Pressler, SD; Charles E. Grassley, IA; Alan Simpson, WY; James M. Jeffords, VT; John McCaine, AZ; Dave Durenberger, MN; Larry Craig, ID; Conrad Burns, MT; Arlen Specter, PA. Sen. David Pryor, D-Ark., was the chairman.

Sen. David Pryor has uncritically swallowed all the health fascists' scientific fraud, and believes that most illness is due to peoples' failure to eat the right food, exercise, and not smoke.

Pryor opening statement / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)

Sen. William Cohen is a goon in addition. He and his ilk think that their pseudo-scientific crap has given them a license to hector, badger, and bully the people: "All Americans must be encouraged to adopt more responsibility for their own health and physical well-being." Blah blah blah! The best thing we could do is throw their tripe back in their faces and demand REAL science. (Cohen is now on the Board of Directors of Cendant with former Trustee of the American Health Foundation Robert E. Nederlander.)

Cohen opening statement / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)

Needless to say, the witnesses exclusively represented the health fascist lobby.

Witness list, May 6, 1993 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

Robert N. Butler

Robert N. Butler MD, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine / UCSF (pdf, 15pp)

Dr. Robert N. Butler was a correspondent of Florence Mahoney from 1977 to 1985, and of Mary Lasker from 1981 to 1987. He was the founding director of the National Institute of Aging, and a director of Neurogen Corp., whose fellow directors include RAND Trustee Frank Carlucci.

Butler on the founding of the Alzheimer Association, 1985: "I enlisted the help of a group of committed individuals with personal experiences with family members afflicted with this terrible disease. They were instrumental in the creation of the Alzheimer Association, with leaders among them including Jerry Stone, Lonnie Wollen and Yasmin Aga Khan. With Florence Mahoney as a conduit we brought several family groups together at the NIH..." ("Senility": The Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century of Longevity. By Robert N. Butler, MD.) "Jerry Stone" was Jerome H. Stone, founder of Stone Container Corporation, whose wife Evelyn suffered from Alzheimers.

Butler / International Longevity Center (pdf, 65pp)

Butler is President and CEO of the International Longevity Center. James H. Stone of Stone Container is a director; Laurance S. Rockefeller is Honorary Chair; its Honorary Board includes Sen. Bill Bradley, Rosalynn Carter, C. Everett Koop, Joshua Lederberg, the late Florence Mahoney, and Dorothy P. Rice.

Board of Directors / International Longevity Center

Pearl S. German

Pearl S. German, JHU School of Public Health / UCSF (pdf, 4pp)

Mary Edith Rogers

Mary Edith Rogers of AARP / UCSF (pdf, 11 pp)

The "Coalition on Smoking OR Health"

Dileep G. Bal

Dileep G. Bal of APHA, for the ACS, AHA and ALA phalanges as well / UCSF (pdf, 9pp)

Michael F. Jacobson

Representing the food fascists was Michael F. Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Michael F. Jacobson, CSPI / UCSF (pdf, 10pp)
American Medical Association statement / UCSF (pdf, 3pp)
American College of Physicians statement / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

The OTA report, updated for 1993

And the main event was the testimony of the OTA, with their specious estimate of smoking costs for 1990: Acting Director Roger Herdman MD; Senior Analyst Maria Hewitt; and Analyst Mary Laschober.

Herdman, Hewitt, and Laschober of OTA, May 6, 1993 / UCSF (pdf, 41pp)

"David Pryor (D-AK), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging yesterday released at a hearing on "Preventive Health: An Ounce of Prevention Saves a Pound of Cure," a new report from the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) estimating the 1990 direct and indirect "costs" of smoking at $68 billion, or $2.59 per pack of cigarettes sold in the U.S. Senators Pryor and Harry Reid (D-NV) were present for the entire hearing; Senators William Cohen (R-ME), Larry Craig (R-ID) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) made brief appearances... Of the $68 billion in direct and indirect "costs" of smoking tallied in the OTA report, $20.8 billion are defined as direct "costs" -- $8.9 billion of that borne by federal, state and local governments. The OTA estimates the federal government share of that $8.9 billion as $6.3 billion, or 24 cents per pack. Indirect morbidity "costs," defined as lost productivity for persons disabled by smoking-attributable disease, total $7 billion. And indirect mortality "costs," which OTA describes as "estimates of forfeited earnings of those dying premature deaths from smoking-attributable diseases," is put at $40 billion. The report cautions that it makes no effort to estimate the "hypothetical effects" of a decrease in smoking prevalence and increase in life expectancy on total medical spending, Medicare program outlays and budgets of Social Security and other government programs." (Memorandum to the Members of the Executive Committee from Samuel D. Chilcote Jr., of the Tobacco Institute. May 7, 1993.)

Chilcote to Executive Committee, May 6, 1993 / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)

A Solitary Hero: Tim White of NPR questioned the OTA methodology, and said that "If you're starting to wonder what kind of economics they practice on Capitol Hill, wait just a moment before you blame OTA. OTA researchers who work for the Congress were just doing what they were told. Senator David Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas, asked them to do the study and to use a controversial methodology created by the Federal Centers for Disease Control. But at the back of their report, in a passage overlooked by many readers, OTA scientists made clear that they did not include 'offsetting costs' in their study. Further, OTA researchers said, reduction or elimination of smoking would improve health and extend longevity, but may not lead to savings in health care costs." (TECHNOPOLITICS -- Program No. 412. Guests: Athena Mueller, Action on Smoking and Health; Peter Huber, Forbes Hagazine. Host: Tim White. Airdate: June 18, 1994. Transcript by: Federal News Service; Fog of Battle Clouds Tobacco Wars. The TechnoPolitics Report, July 1994.) "Controversial" is obviously a weasel-word for "fraudulent." And the OTA has been perpetrating this same scam since 1985.

Technopolitics, June 18, 1994 / UCSF (pdf, 5 pp)
The TechnoPolitics Report, July 1994 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)

The filth at the Washington Post spew the Big Lie: Criminal Thomas Novotny of the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, once again the author of the Centers for Disease Control's latest SAMMEC fraud, is featured boasting that this bogus figure is "the rock-bottom estimate of the cost of smoking." Then, Cliff Roberts, chief lobbyist for the American Cancer Society on the tax issue, is handed a platform to denounce the recent 45 cent tax increase as "a cave-in to the tobacco industry." There is not the slightest suggestion that Novotny has committed fraud, particular not from Thomas Lauria, spokesman for the Tobacco Institute, who snivels, "There are so few people who are absolutely perfect. What about someone who is overweight or drinks or engages in high-risk sports?" See how the whining little pussy automatically adopted a defensive posture in order to actively help boost the anti-smokers to a moral high ground they don't deserve! And then he pretended to parry the anti-smokers' Big Lie by invoking $13.3 billion in cigarette taxes paid, which any pinhead can see is smaller than the phony $50 billion. This is the the duplicitous technique that the anti-smoker-serving scum at the Tobacco Institutesystematically used to sell smokers down the river! It's cynically-crafted manipulation designed to create the false impression that smokers have no case against the anti-smokers' accusations! (Smoking-Related Medical Care In '93 Estimated at $50 Billion. By Dana Priest, Staff Writer. Washington Post, July 8, 1994.)

Smoking-Related Medical Care In '93 Estimated at $50 Billion / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

Hearings on Financing Provisions of the Administration's Health Security Act, 1993

(Hearings on the Financing Provisions of the Administration's Health Security Act and Other Health Reform Proposals, House Ways and Means Committees, Nov. 18, 1993.) Eleven congressmen from tobacco-growing states made emotional appeals on behalf of tobacco growers. Some expressed doubt about cigarette taxes as a means of raising revenue. Seven anti-smoker congressmen, who were from states in which tobacco was not a major crop, spewed forth their usual litany of lies and defamations.

In the first panel of witnesses, two nazis from the OTA, Clyde Behney and Maria Hewitt, parroted a brief version of the May 6 OTA statement. Frank J. Chaloupka for the American Lung Association, Gregory M. Connolly for the American Public Health Association and American Dental Association, Robert M. Kaplan for the American Psychological Association, and Jeffrey E. Harris spouted lies. In the second panel, representatives of the city of Danville, Va.; the Federation of Southern Cooperatives; the Tobacco Growers' Information Committee; and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, made their special interest pleas. Economist Dwight R. Lee appeared on behalf of the Tobacco Institute, and the anti-smokers gleefully trashed the worthless Price Waterhouse report he cited. In short, the tobacco side did everything the anti-smokers could have wished for, allowing them to characterize the issue as "special interests versus public health" (just like the hospitality industry does at smoking ban hearings).

Witness List, Nov. 18, 1993 / UCSF (pdf, 3pp)

The CRS Report, 1994

In 1994, the Congressional Research Service of the US Congress investigated the issue of smoking cost methodologies in "Cigarette taxes to fund health care reform: An economic analysis," by JG Gravelle and D Zimmerman. CRS Report for Congress 94214E; 1994 Mar 8. In the technical appendix, they properly reject the false pretenses of the OTA and others that costs paid by smokers were paid by nonsmokers, and note their failure to consider nonsmokers' costs. But they failed to question the appropriateness of discounting.

1994 CRS Report "Cigarette Taxes to Fund Health Care Reform" / UCSF (pdf, 70 pp)

Media Propaganda, 1994

"Smoking's economic cost isn't a good argument for higher taxes. By Peter Russell. The New York Times July 14, 1994.) Lead paragraph: "Last week the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta confirmed what few had doubted: Smoking-related diseases have 'an enormous economic impact,' wrote the editors of the centers' Weekly Report - the equivalent, they estimated, of $2 a pack in medical costs alone." Then, after admitting that "Few economists are convinced that the link is strong enough to bear the weight of the argument" for higher cigarette taxes, he wouldn't say why.

He then proceeded to praise the CDC: "This latest Government report is by all accounts based on careful research. Sufficient data collected from some 36,000 adults allowed mathematicians to untangle the effects of smoking from the myriad other influences on health: age, race, income, insurance coverage, education, obesity, even willingness to take risks as envisioned by seat belt use. When refigured at 1993 prices, estimated medical bills for smokers come to $50 billion a year, or $2.66 a pack The costs borne by the public - mostly Medicaid and Medicare - came to 89 cents a pack."

This is a pile of stinking lies. The CDC pretended that costs paid by smokers were paid by nonsmokers, and that nonsmokers' costs - particular their Medicare and Medicaid costs, which dwarf those of smokers - DO NOT EXIST. Nowehere in the article does Passell deplore this as the fraudulent accounting that it is. And he falsely pretends that the reason that studies which took nonsmokers' costs into account find that smokers are not an economic burden is that smokers die so much younger, which is the official anti-smoker-approved spin on the subject. As if it is not patently obvious that if you arbitrarily divided people with identical costs into two groups, and counted one group's costs and not those of the other, the results would be preordained by this fraudulent procedure to supposedly show that the first group was a burden to the other! This is how the Centers for Disease Control's SAMMEC operates.

And, besides raising cigarette taxes, there's another purpose behind this deliberate campaign of deceit: "That latter number is likely to figure in a suit by the State of Florida, which is attempting to recover [sic] medical outlays for treating smokers from the cigarette makers." If anything, the state saved money as a result of smoking, and therefore has no pretext to claim damages - hence, the need for a propaganda campaign by whores like Passell to brainwash the public with a Big Lie.

Finally, he obfuscates the issue by wondering, "In the end, though, one still has to wonder whether the ends justify the means. More pointedly, one might wonder whether the majority of Americans' enthusiasm for better health is so shallow that they would buy it only if a minority (smokers) is forced to foot the bill." This is really all the product of the plotting, scheming, and conniving of the bloodsuckers of the Lasker Syndicate, and of their media whores who manufacture phony consent for them!

Passell, New York Times 1994 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

The Health Care Costs of Smoking, Barendregt, 1997

The Health Care Costs of Smoking. Jan J. Barendregt, Luc Bonneux, Paul J. van der Maas. New England Journal of Medicine 1997 Oct 9;337(15):1052-1057. Criticisms: 1) This study examined only health costs, without considering non-health retirement costs (which are far higher than costs for health care, and which are especially large among non-smokers). These should be included in any estimate of social costs which purports to be complete. 2) The study took anti-smoker designations of "smoking-related disease" at face value, meaning that they blamed smoking for diseases caused by infection (including heart disease, the largest cause of death among both smokers and non-smokers), where deaths would not in fact be reduced or delayed by quitting smoking. It did however document that, even if the optimist projections of lower health costs from eliminating smoking came true, these costs would merely be delayed and would ultimately be larger than if smoking continued.

Barendregt / NEJM 1997 full article
Barendregt - NEJM 1997 full article / UCSF (pdf, 6 pp)

van Baal, 2008

Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure. PHM van Baal, JJ Polder, GA de Wit, RT Hoogenveen, TL Feenstra, HC Boshuizen, PM Engelfriet, WBF Brouwer. PLoS Medicine 2008 Feb;5(2):e29. "In this study we have shown that, although obese people induce high medical costs during their lives, their lifetime health-care costs are lower than those of healthy-living people but higher than those of smokers. Obesity increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart disease, thereby increasing health-care utilization but decreasing life expectancy. Successful prevention of obesity, in turn, increases life expectancy. Unfortunately, these life-years gained are not lived in full health and come at a price: people suffer from other diseases, which increases health-care costs. Obesity prevention, just like smoking prevention, will not stem the tide of increasing health-care expenditures. The underlying mechanism is that there is a substitution of inexpensive, lethal diseases toward less lethal, and therefore more costly, diseases." Table 1 gives the bottom line: At age 20, smokers' lifetime health costs will total 220k Euros, obese peoples' costs will total 250k Euros, and the "Healthy Living" will cost 281k Euros. [Approximately $303k, $344k, and $387k U.S.]

van Baal / PLoS Medicine 2008 full article
van Baal - PLoS Medicine 2008 full article / PubMed Central

The CDC's SAMMEC 2002

This computer program is the source of the government's Big Lie about smoking costs. They are still perpetrating the same frauds that they used in 1985. They are insulated from correction by the political power of the Lasker Syndicate.

The user - in this case, the CDC - inputs the supposed relative risks of smoking for each particular disease; data on the proportion of smokers in the population; and the raw number of deaths and their total cost for each disease.

They DO NOT add up the total costs of smokers versus the total costs of nonsmokers, and then take the difference as the cost of smoking. Instead, they take their false claims about how much disease smoking supposedly causes, figure out the fraction of the total of each particular disease that represents, then they claim that fraction of the total cost as the purported smoking cost.

The fraud consists of pretending that those costs would magically disappear if there was no smoking. In fact, for example, the costs of supposed "smoking-related" heart disease would merely be replaced by the costs of non-"smoking-related" related heart disease. And the cost of a death from lung cancer would merely be replaced by the cost of a death from some other cause. But in their bogus bookkeeping, there would be pure savings instead.

This is a basic element of honest accounting, which these filthy thieves have been allowed to ignore with impunity - thanks to their MEDIA CONSPIRACY to lie to the public.

(Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Economic Costs -- United States, 1995-1999. MMWR 2002 Apr 12;51(14):300-303). "Smoking-attributable deaths were calculated by multiplying estimates of the smoking-attributable fraction (SAF) of preventable deaths by total mortality data for 18 adult and four infant causes of death. For adults, SAFs were derived by using relative risks (RRs) for each cause of death from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II;1982--1988)." The CPS study died not include analyses which would account for the confounding role of infection. The Cancer Society has systematically suppressed research on infection as a cause of cancer, while the American Heart Association did the same with heart disease, and both organizations continue to concoct and trumpet defective studies. The CDC has ignored an enormous, gold standard study which did consider infection as a cause of perinatal illness, and they have ignored newer data implicationg infection. So, the scumbags are still lying that smoking causes cervical cancer that is really caused by HPV; still lying that smoking causes perinatal illnesses that are really caused by chorioamnionitis; and they're still blaming smoking even for aortic aneurysms, where the evidence implicating C. pneumoniae is especially strong. And now they're falsely blaming secondhand smoke for causing lung cancer and heart disease is non-smokers as well. The only improvement is that the scum didn't get away with lying that smoking causes liver cancer, stomach cancer and ulcers.

MMWR 2002 / Centers for Disease Control

The press release of the lying bastard Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control, David W. Fleming. "The fact that nearly half a million Americans lose their lives each year because of smoking-related illnesses is a significant public health tragedy," blah blah blah. And the piece of subhuman garbage who is Director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, Rosemarie Henson: "The stunning toll that smoking takes on life is unacceptable," blah blah blah. We should hope that al-Qaida comes back and finishes up the job.

The main page of the CDC's SAMMEC.

SAMMEC Main Page / Centers for Disease Control
SAMMEC Help Menu / Centers for Disease Control

SAMMEC defines "Productivity Loss" as "The present value of foregone future earnings from paid labor and imputed earnings from unpaid household work." This means that the SAMMEC fraudulently pretends that money smokers didn't make is an economic burden to non-smokers (even if non-smokers took their jobs!), and it fraudulently pretends that housewives who die instead of collecting Social Security are an economic burden to society.

Computing Smoking-Attributable Productivity Losses / Centers for Disease Control

"Expenditures" - "Smoking-Attributable Fraction (SAF)" is defined as "The proportion of deaths from smoking-related diseases that were caused by cigarette smoking." Because they use the American Cancer Society's CPS-II to determine this supposed "excess," this means that they falsely blame smoking for diseases that are actually caused by infection. "Smoking-Attributable Expenditures" are defined as "Excess personal health care expenditures attributed to diseases where cigarette smoking is a primary risk factor." They then pretend that these fraudulently-derived costs would magically disappear, if there was no smoking. There is no mention of the fact that those who died of supposed smoking-related diseases would incur expenses anyway if they died of something else, because the SAMMEC fraudulently pretends that these offsetting expenses do not exist.

Computing Smoking-Attributable Expenditures / Centers for Disease Control

"Maternal and Child Health (MCH) SAMMEC Outcomes, Computing Health Outcomes" - "MCH SAMMEC uses RR estimates for short gestation/low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Respiratory Distress (Syndrome) - newborn (RDS), and other infant conditions of the newborn obtained from a meta analysis of the epidemiological literature conducted by Gavin et al. (2001)." But the published epidemiological literature is fraudulent, because all of those works deliberately relied on defective studies that falsely blame smoking for preterm births and RDS that are caused by chorioamnionitis, and likewise exploit confounding by infection for SIDS.

Computing MCH Expenditures / Centers for Disease Control

The CDC's reply to Rep. Richard Burr, Jul. 16, 2003 (now U.S. Senator, R-NC)

"This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-03-942R entitled 'CDC's April 2002 Report On Smoking: Estimates of Selected Health Consequences of Cigarette Smoking Were Reasonable' which was released on August 18, 2003."
The word infection or related terms do not appear, and the issue of confounding is not addressed. "CDC's estimate of mortality-related productivity losses did not include the expected lost earnings associated with infant or secondhand cigarette smoke deaths (about 9 percent of the total deaths). CDC said that it did not develop an estimate of productivity losses for infants because of a lack of consensus among economists about the best method for estimating the potential future earnings of infants. Similarly, the NCI report from which CDC obtained the estimate of secondhand smoke deaths lacked specific data on the age at which those deaths occurred- -information needed to estimate expected lost earnings. CDC informed us that it is working on including these two categories in future estimates of productivity losses when more reliable data become available." "The linkages of cigarette smoking to increased mortality due to the included causes, such as lung cancer or cardiovascular disease, had been well established by the Surgeon General." The Surgeon General is not a scientist, but merely a corrupt, fraudulent political appointee, a figurehead serving the health fascist agenda of the Lasker Lobby-controlled Republican and Democratic parties, whose vaunted reports are written for him by their politically-protected establishment which is completely unaccountable to any genuine scientific criticism. "CDC used the method generally accepted among epidemiologists for estimating the increased deaths attributable to cigarette smoking." The fraud of deliberately using defective studies to falsely blame smoking for diseases caused by infection is standard operating procedure among these corrupt parasites. But that slimy, rotten-to-the-core, lie spewing subhuman vermin, CDC Director Julie Louise Gerberding, simply proclaims that everything the CDC does is "reasonable," and GAO bootlicker Janet Heinrich merely parroted it and applied her rubberstamp approval.

The CDC replies to Rep. Richard Burr / General Accounting Office
The CDC replies to Rep. Richard Burr / General Accounting Office (pdf, 21pp)

For the benefit of dimwits, the key issue is THE USE OF FRAUD; and not, "It's not fair because people who eat Twinkies don't have to pay for their health costs." Neither smokers nor 'people who eat Twinkies' are an economic burden to others. It's the self-righteous health fascists themselves who are the burden. Also for the benefit of dimwits, the reason those vermin get away with frauds like this is that smokers don't use violence, and anti-smokers don't respect anything else.

More Lies and Fraud

"Actual costs of smoking estimated at nearly $40 a pack." The largest component of this supposed "cost" (at $20.28 per pack) was concocted by the authors arbitrarily ordaining that each year of lost life supposedly "costs" society $100,000 - ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, with no economic justification offered. This supposed "cost" of $100,000 is at a period of life when the vast majority of smokers have retired (and may have been forced to do so by employers who want to hire cheaper young people); and those who work count themselves lucky to get a job as a greeter, at minimum wage. And the bloodsucking filth have the gall to stick their hands out and whine that WE owe THEM a hundred thousand dollars a year if we die early! (Actual costs of smoking estimated at nearly $40 a pack. By Jim Ritter, Health Reporter. Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 18, 2004).

Actual Costs of Smoking Estimated at Nearly $40 a Pack, 2004 / Chicago Sun-Times

As usual, the scumsuckers committed more outrages to crank the phony "cost" higher: "One factor that is distinct in this study is the calculation of 'quasi-external cost,' which the authors define as the cost of freedom of choice to the family members of smokers, including children of smokers." The authors' "social cost" of smoking is in fact the sum of purely private, quasi-external, and external costs, meaning that costs paid by smokers themselves - which were the largest component of the fraudulent OTA report - were claimed as costs paid by nonsmokers. Because it has been published in a 320-page book, it may be intended to be used in some govenment lawsuit, in which the tobacco companies will presumably flop on their bellies and surrender by settling out of court, as they did in the state lawsuits. (Book Review: The Price of Smoking, by Frank A. Sloan, Jan Ostermann, Christopher Conover, Donald H. Taylor Jr., and Gabriel Picone. MIT Press, 2004. J Clin Invest 2005 Sep 1;115(9):2304.) It is reviewed by Shyam Biswal of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University, which is so backwards and corrupt that they think there's nothing wrong with using a lifestyle questionnaire that ignores human papillomavirus infection to claim that smoking and passive smoke cause cervical cancer.

The Price of Smoking, 2005 / J Clin Invest

Frank A. Sloan

Frank A. Sloan graduated from Oberlin in 1964, and was a summer intern at the President's Council of Economic Advisors that year. He got a U.S. Public Health Fellowship Service Fellowship in 1966, and was at the RAND Corporation from 1968 to 1971. He is not merely an old crony of Joseph P. Newhouse from RAND; he was an usher at Newhouse's wedding in Harvard's Appleton Chapel in 1968. (Married. Waterloo Daily Courier, Jun. 23, 1968.) Sloan received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1969, got his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1968. He has been the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in anti-smoking grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

Evaluating legal and economic vulnerabilities of the Master Settlement Agreement. $99,452, Aug 1, 2008 to Jul 31, 2009, ID# 64748; to Duke University, Frank A. Sloan Ph.D., Project Director.

Studying the barriers to smoking cessation among mature smokers Mar 2004 - Aug 2007 ID# 49979 $399,997 to Frank A. Sloan Ph.D., Duke University Center for Health Policy, Law and Management

He was also Principal Investigator of a Sub-Grant to Project Hope’s "Establishing Project HOPE as a Health Policy Research Center," funded by the Health Care Financing Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. January 1, 1988 to present. (Frank A. Sloan CV. Duke University.)

Frank A. Sloan CV / Duke University

The Fraudulent SAMMEC Again!

Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses --- United States, 2000--2004. The CDC continues to commit fraud by falsely blaming smoking for diseases that are caused by infection: "For adults, SAFs were derived using sex-specific relative risk (RR) estimates from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II) for current and former smokers for each cause of death for the period 1982--1988." No data reflecting current knowlege of the role of infection was used in the ACS data. Other data which disproves their claims has been ignored (e.g., ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease deaths, where the declines in death rates since 1950 are not in accord with any of the health fascists' dogmas about "risk factors," and the declines have been the same among smokers as among non-smokers, nor are they attributable to their favorite dodge of improved treatment; but the change in rates is in accord with different rates of exposure to infectious cause(s) between smokers and non-smokers); then pretending that, e.g., $9.6 billion in productivity costs paid by smokers were paid by "society" rather than the workers themselves. They blame passive smoking for causing lung cancer in non-smokers, where they are guilty of flagrant scientific fraud for ignoring more than 50 studies, which show that human papillomaviruses cause over ten times more lung cancers than they pretend are caused by secondhand smoke. Passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, so the anti-smokers' fraudulent studies, which are based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, have been cynically designed to falsely blame passive smoking for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV. The filth blame passive smoking for heart disease, too, never mind that they can't even make a good case, one that fits the overall historical evidence, for active smoking, and that passive smokers' higher rates are really due to higher rates of exposure to the real infectious cause(s). The subhuman filth are still ignoring the enormous, gold-standard study by NINDS proving that chorioamnionitis is the real cause of perinatal illnesses blamed on smoking, and using fraudulent studies based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires per the Surgeon General Report instead; and they even exploit residual confounding to deliberately falsely blame smoking for cervical cancer, when it is known that 99.7% of cases are caused by HPV. As always, the SAMMEC pretends that non-smokers' health costs don't exist at all, so that if a supposed "smoking-related" disease was "prevented," there are no offsetting costs when people die of something anyway.

SAMMEC 2008 / Centers for Disease Control

What should we do when a corrupt, lie-spewing government is engaged in a systematic campaign of cultural genocide against us? VIOLENCE, TERRORISM, AND ASSASSINATION ARE THE JUST REMEDIES FOR TYRANNY!

See Also:

The Percentage of Cancer Caused By Infection
Confounding By Infection


cast 11-28-11