20 March 2016

[tpc] - A Different Take on Smoking - A Write-up by Ellis Millsaps

The Chronicles
20 March '16

- A Different Take on Smoking - A Write-up by Featured Writer Ellis Millsaps -

Special to The Chronicles


Whenever I read a piece by the anti-smoking true believers, they always cite the huge financial burden to society for the health costs of smokers.

I don't buy it. You'd think the fact that smoking could kill you would be enough, but the argument about the cost of smokers' medical care is, on its face, ridiculous. The cost of their lung cancer and heart attacks certainly come with a financial burden, but let's assume they didn't smoke.

They'd live twenty years longer; they'd collect Social Security and Medicare for those additional years. Then, they would still die, and that's often a very expensive thing. Also, as a rule, most people require much more in the way of doctor visits, medications, procedures, etc.as they reach the advanced years. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the economy would be much better off if we all died at 62. Seriously.

I'm going to submit this to "I've Always Wondered" on the Marketplace segment of "All Things Considered" on NPR. I'll let you know if they analyze my argument.


Ellis is an attorney by trade but has worn many hats over the years: father, bus boy, stand-up comedian, novelist, wiffle ball player, rock'n'roll band manager, and at one time wrote a popular and funny column for The Covington News. A Fannin Co. mountain boy originally, Mr. Millsaps now stays at the mill village of Porterdale by way of 20 years in Mansfield. Usually funny and at times irreverent and subversive, he leans left in his political philosophy but can always be counted on for a pretty darn good write-up. The Chronicles are proud to have him involved...