- Pfizer now marketing Champix, a stop-smoking aid, in NZ. Sounds like a milder form of Antabuse but for tobacco rather than alcohol. Now, will this mean that ASH, SFC and the public healthists worry less about tobacco because it's less addictive, or worry more about it because anything that makes quitting easier also makes starting more likely? HT: National Business Review.
- The public healthists at Otago School of Medicine at Wellilngton have been busy rummaging through your trash. They reckon about 3% of cigarettes consumed here come in from abroad, either through duty-free or smuggled. Wilson then bemoans the lost tax revenue. Never mind that duty free is in place mostly to avoid the transactions costs of having to collect minor amounts of tax (ie the cost of collecting the tax outweighs the tax collected). And never mind that even O'Dea's anti-tobacco commissioned study says that the currently collected excise taxes far outweigh any costs to the public health system in New Zealand.
Without trying to calculate a precise estimate of ‘external costs’ it does seem reasonably apparent that the tax contribution of approximately $1 billion annually by smokers exceeds substantially the external costs of smoking which fall on non-smokers. If savings on pension costs from premature mortality of smokers were added as well the net fiscal contribution of smokers, to the fiscal gain of non-smokers, would be further increased.
- Good luck to Bradford and Scott who are fighting Canadian prostitution legislation, arguing that restrictions are unconstitutional. New Zealand's legalisation in 2003 has certainly not worsened outcomes and has arguably done a lot of good.
- Copyright increases both the rewards from producing new content and the costs of doing so.