- Lazy and don't check their figures: they just copied from the NZ Herald editorial (noted here) and couldn't be bothered to check anything. Seriously, check the Herald piece; they totally lifted the Herald's argument.
- Deliberately trying to mislead their readers
Those who argue anti-smoking legislation goes too far do so on grounds it intervenes in rational personal choice, even when that choice is for an addictive drug. The difficulty with this argument is a right of personal liberty ceases to be that when it affects the rights of others. It has been well demonstrated passive smoking can be harmful to individuals forced to inhale the smoke exhaled by others.Again, the $1.7 billion figure comes from Des O'Dea's study of the costs of smoking. The $1.7 billion figure includes a whole pile of costs that smokers impose upon themselves and only about $350 million that smokers cost others via the health system. And again, quoting from Des's study:
The case for liberty is on less solid ground, too, when the cost of smoking to the public purse, estimated to be $1.7 billion a year, is considered.
...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.If the Herald and ODT repeat a lie often enough, it becomes a public truth.