Have copied this across from the Firemen without sirens thread to avoid dragging it off topic. Understood that, sr.medic. My point was that the taxation on smokers (for smoking) raises over twice the cost of the treatment they receive for the Treasury. If the Treasury doesn't pass that money to the NHS then that's their choice, but to say that "smokers cost the NHS" is wrong. What happens is, the Government doesn't pass on the money they raise from smoking to the department tht deals with it. A bit like the oil companies saying that they "make a loss at the pumps" because they charge themselves inflated prices at the wells. It's phantom accounting to support an unsupportable position. Look at it another way - smokers contribute about £12 billion to the Treasury each year. They cost the Treasury (via the NHS) £5 billion. Would you be quite so anti if the Treasury gave the full £12 million raised directly to the NHS - giving a net profit of £7 billion? My guess is that, in that case, your attitude would be "if you're stupid enough to kill yourself and give all this money to the NHS by doing it, then crack on"