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Thread: Cash to stop smoking

  1. #1
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    Default Cash to stop smoking

    Check this link, should your Council Tax be used in this venture?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4532418.stm
    I am a converted non smoker I had to quit on Doctors orders, a decision I do not regret, but I had to pay for my Nicotine replacement patches myself
    Is 26th March 2006 ( No Smoking in Pubs and Offices day) ok I know there are going to a lot more establishments where smoking is going to be banned. make a difference to anyone good or bad?
    Last edited by golach; 18-Dec-05 at 11:06.
    Once the original Grumpy Owld Man but alas no more

  2. #2
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    Default

    I would be quite happy to contribute some of my council tax on this idea. Mind you if the people involved didnt stop smoking they would have to repay the dosh.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs down

    I had my works night out last night and we were talking about this. Im gonna start smoking now just so I can get paid to stop.

  4. #4
    jjc Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by golach
    should your Council Tax be used in this venture?
    I suspect that it might actually be a wise investment. Whilst smoking in enclosed public places is to be banned, the legislation won’t stop smokers from going out into the street for a cigarette.

    There are an estimated 3,000 smokers employed by the council. I’d say that the smokers I have worked with will have maybe three or four cigarettes through the day (excluding lunch) and each will take around ten minutes. They also have their thinking-about-going-for-a-cigarette time, their chatting-with-other-smokers-about-having-a-cigarette time and their getting-back-to-work-after-a-cigarette time.

    Taking what I think is a conservative estimate of forty minutes lost per smoker per day, that’s still 2000 working-hours lost to the council per day – every day.

    Add to that the fact that smokers take an average of five more sick-days per year than non-smokers, are six times more likely to seek early retirement and are a factor in workplace conflict (as evidenced by Domestos talking about this at a work night out) and I really don’t think that a one-off payment of £50 is a bad move. Heck, give them £100 and you’d still be saving money.

  5. #5
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    Never mind an additional 5/6 sick days a year, and forget the time lost from work on ciggy breaks!!!!!! Think about the cost of treating conditions resulting from smoking ( cancer, efisema, etc) not only from the NHS point of view, but also when the smoker goes onto lifelong disability benefits due to incapacity to work. Whatever cash they end up getting, its a bargin for the tax payer if that smoker avoids disease.
    An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by _Ju_
    Never mind an additional 5/6 sick days a year, and forget the time lost from work on ciggy breaks!!!!!! Think about the cost of treating conditions resulting from smoking ( cancer, efisema, etc) not only from the NHS point of view, but also when the smoker goes onto lifelong disability benefits due to incapacity to work. Whatever cash they end up getting, its a bargin for the tax payer if that smoker avoids disease.
    All good points, _Ju_, except that the thread was specifically about whether this was an effective use of the council tax paid by council tax payers in the Highland Region.

    Therefore the references to sick leave and time lost from smoking breaks are more salient points than that about the cost to the NHS in the long term due to cancers and emphysema, as the NHS is not funded by council tax.
    Laugh and the world laughs with you... cry, and the world looks sheepish and suddenly remembers it had other plans.

  7. #7

    Default

    Personally I think it is a disgrace if the Council pay their staff to quit!!
    And as for the lost time due to cigarette breaks....I would have those banned immediately. if staff wish to smoke then that is up to them but having several 5 or 10 min stops during the day to smoke is blatantly taking the p. Why should someone who has a filthy smelly habbit be given all this extra time off during the working week?

    Crikey if I was a coke addict would it be acceptable to tell my gaffer "Im just nipping out to snort a line" I dont think so I would be fired most likely..

    Hence I keep my snorting to lunchtimes and designated breaks lol

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whooshjohnny
    Personally I think it is a disgrace if the Council pay their staff to quit!!
    And as for the lost time due to cigarette breaks....I would have those banned immediately. if staff wish to smoke then that is up to them but having several 5 or 10 min stops during the day to smoke is blatantly taking the p. Why should someone who has a filthy smelly habbit be given all this extra time off during the working week?

    Crikey if I was a coke addict would it be acceptable to tell my gaffer "Im just nipping out to snort a line" I dont think so I would be fired most likely..

    Hence I keep my snorting to lunchtimes and designated breaks lol
    lol lol whooshjohnny, i agree with everything you say.. im lucky if i can get off for a pee during working hours never mind fag breaks. If I think im gonna get 50 quid to stop though it certainly makes me think I might suddenly start up the smelly habit........

  9. #9
    jjc Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whooshjohnny
    cigarette breaks....I would have those banned immediately.
    …thereby increasing discontent amongst your staff, probably losing a good many of the 3,000 smokers (and their experience and knowledge) in the process.

    I actually agree with you. Personally, I hate that my colleagues can take the best part of an hour out of their day to stand around smoking cigarettes. I hate that they come back into the office stinking like a stale ashtray and polluting my working environment. I hate that I cannot walk down the street without having to dodge the clouds of smoke and the lit cigarettes that are waved inconsiderately about. I don’t think that a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces goes far enough.

    But I also recognise that cigarettes are addictive and are embedded in our society. An instant ban simply wouldn’t work so an alternative has had to be found. Parliament has taken the first step and restricted where people can smoke. Hopefully this first step won’t also be the last step and we’ll see things change to the point where a complete ban is workable – in the mean time, good on the Highland Council for trying to encourage their staff to kick the habit.

  10. #10
    twee_dledee Guest

    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by jjc
    …thereby increasing discontent amongst your staff, probably losing a good many of the 3,000 smokers (and their experience and knowledge) in the process.

    I actually agree with you. Personally, I hate that my colleagues can take the best part of an hour out of their day to stand around smoking cigarettes. I hate that they come back into the office stinking like a stale ashtray and polluting my working environment. I hate that I cannot walk down the street without having to dodge the clouds of smoke and the lit cigarettes that are waved inconsiderately about. I don’t think that a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces goes far enough.

    But I also recognise that cigarettes are addictive and are embedded in our society. An instant ban simply wouldn’t work so an alternative has had to be found. Parliament has taken the first step and restricted where people can smoke. Hopefully this first step won’t also be the last step and we’ll see things change to the point where a complete ban is workable – in the mean time, good on the Highland Council for trying to encourage their staff to kick the habit.
    So how come you wouldn't be so considerate if it was a drug addiction. Wheres sweetheart when we need her?

  11. #11
    jjc Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twee_dledee
    So how come you wouldn't be so considerate if it was a drug addiction. Wheres sweetheart when we need her?
    Stuff and nonsense… nowhere have I said that drug addicts should not be given help to kick their habits – quite the opposite; I think that there should be more focus on helping drug addicts than there currently is.

    You know, this thread only goes to reaffirm my belief that legalising currently-illegal drugs such as heroin or cannabis is an incredibly moronic idea. Cigarettes are so ingrained in our society that even though we know that they are killing hundreds of thousands of people a year Parliament was unable to put a complete ban in place and had to compromise by only banning smoking in certain areas. They are so engrained that the only way a council can stop its employees from taking cigarette breaks without disrupting the entire function of the organisation is to pay smokers to quit. Yet still there are people out there who would advocate repeating the mistake with other drugs. That’s crazy talk!

    So anyway… I do think that in an ideal world the council would be able to just tell smokers that they have to put in the same day's work as everybody else. But this world is far from ideal and we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. If that means bribing smokers to quit then so be it... especially when the cost of that bribe is so much less than the cost of doing nothing.
    Last edited by jjc; 18-Dec-05 at 15:25.

  12. #12
    twee_dledee Guest

    Wink

    Glad to see now where you've been for the last half hour
    I thought you was away having a fag too.....LOL LOL

  13. #13
    jjc Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by twee_dledee
    Glad to see now where you've been for the last half hour
    I thought you was away having a fag too.....LOL LOL
    It's strangely disconcerting to think that you're keeping tabs on my whereabouts...

  14. #14
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    Default The Chains That Drag Us Down - £50 Is Good Value

    The Chains That Drag Us Down
    I support the payment of £50 to help a council worker stop smoking. There are many reasons why I support it and I think as many employers as can afford it should also think about doing something whilst there is so much publicity on the issue.

    We all know by now the huge numbers of conditions affected by smoking - or do we? Despite the huge amount of literature and web pages many people I think do not really understand that smoking is death by a thousand cuts. For example if a smoker was asked to make tiny cut on his or her face every time they lit up a cigarette might not the graphically exposed mess of that increasingly abused visage lead to a reduction if not complete cessation.

    Scotland has now one of the worst health records in Europe with heart disease and cancer being at the top of the list of causes. They have for the past few years been the main target areas for Health Boards. Once Finland had the unenviable reputation as leading the way at the top of the death rates for heart disease. The combination of a bad diet and heavy smoking put them in that position. 20 or more years ago their government decided to do something about it and they put in place a nationwide campaign involving not only posters and leaflets but right back in the schools changing diets of the whole nation and attacking the problem on may levels and keeping it going right up until today. It cost a huge amount and they would laugh at our payment of £50 a worker. The result is that they are now well down the list and who is at the top of the death rates? - Scotland.

    Of course if you do not smoke you are not so likely to be affected personally but you probably have relative or friend who is or was. I say was, as like myself as you get older you find that older relatives who smoked have died prematurely. Sometimes it happens even younger and that illness dogs a life and it may have been caused by smoking. In my own case I have no doubt that my lifelong smoking parents shortened their lives by smoking habits picked up when information and knowledge was not in the public domain as it is now. My children saw little of their grandparents who all died prematurely. My mother died an excruciatingly painful and slow death from cancer. My father died of a heart attack. I cannot prove the cause like many others but I watched them all my young life and smoking undoubtedly was a factor.

    If it is possible to save the misery that awaits smokers from happening and to save their families the loss that results from early death and watching them die in extreme pain and agony often a slow and lingering death then I would spend more than £50.

    It is taxpayer’s money but as an employer wanting to run a budget efficiently and with responsibilities for staff it makes sense. As already indicated smokers take more time off and cost the health service much more than non-smokers. Everyone already pays a huge bill from time off sick to medicines to operations and treatment for a range of diseases caused or exacerbated by smoking.

    The people I knew who smoked and are now dead I can never bring back. The people who have the early signs of more chronic conditions such as coughs or the early bronchial problems that will lead on to more serious infections and perhaps cancers of one sort or another may yet have it alleviated or in younger people avoided all together.

    The £50 to help a council worker is in reality a token towards improving the health of a worker that if they succeed in giving up will be repaid for them and their families many times over and not least to the council and the taxpayers as they will be around and more healthy to continue to provide services to our communities. It is good value for money if it achieves a reduction in sickness and the council has a large workforce that means significant costs for all the days lost through illness. The ramifications are many but long-term a reduction in the need for people to retire early on health grounds would save the council huge amounts of money which over the years would amount to many millions of pounds. Each year of an early retirement costs extra in pensions. Then there are the recruitment and extra training of new staff. There are many more potential cost savings if a reduction is achieved.

    One councillor who spoke against the ban and the removal of smoking rooms in council premises who is well seasoned debater and put the words together well lost the argument despite a very good thought out argument as it was delivered through a hacking deep rooted smokers cough and that day obvious breathing difficulties. The vote was overwhelmingly against that councillor.

    I cannot bring back my relatives or put back the clock for those that already suffer the thousand invisible cuts towards death or increasing misery caused by smoking. I could along with others support a tiny effort to save the misery for employees and their families in the future. Just as the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge tells Marley in Dickens Christmas Carol how he forged his chain link by link throughout his life so smokers are forging their own ill-health puff by puff and the chains of smoke are as devastating as if had been made of steel as it slowly pulls him or her down. With every cigarette another link of the chain is added until it becomes too heavy. We all can hear those smoker’s chains – it is in their voice cough here or there, the deeper voice of woman who has smoked a long time, the skin colour of a man with inherent health problems not quite taking him down yet as he is strong and the chain has not become too heavy…..yet. Many are prone to see it as problem of the future but rarely see the invisible chain I see with every cough reminding me of my lost friends and relatives.

    £50!! It is a token payment but I have to say that all the publicity it has generated is worth far more than the total cost if employees make a claim to have a treatment course paid for. Most treatment will cost more.

    I saw what smoking did to my parents, and my wife’s parents and did not follow them into gradually coughing my way to my death or some other illness. I may yet have some illness similar but it will be a much lower risk than they ran by smoking. I was also fortunate that although I lived in my childhood in a smoking house we had coal fires and the air was sucked up the chimney. I fear a generation of children living in centrally heated houses with draft excluders on windows and doors with smokers present may not be so lucky and they will suffer in later life. Are some people handing part of the chain to their children as a legacy they may not see but that will have consequences that they cannot undo. Let’s hope that they do not have to come back to watch like Marley.

    I am anti-smoking with good reasons – they are all dead ones. If in some small way the £50 payment makes people think about stopping or a young person wants to be around for their grand children in later years and along the way have many less health problems or that young women think about their future babies health and give them the best start in life by keeping themselves fit and healthy then it will have been the best £50 the council and the taxpayer ever spent.

    And chains can be broken. Perhaps with all the attention the smoking ban is bringing that £50 will seem a good idea to all of those who do not get pulled down by their chain. Ebenezer Scrooge was shown by the ghost how his chains were forged saved the day for Bob Crachitt’s family and Tiny Tim. Let’s hope a £50 contribution from the Highland Council taxpayers can do the same for many other families.

  15. #15
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    Wow Bill, what a fabulous post: factual, passionate and heartfelt but nowhere insulting to anyone. Some of us should learn from you.

    You've convinced me. A truly super post.
    Last edited by crayola; 18-Dec-05 at 15:48.

  16. #16
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    I'm with Bill - and there is really nothing I can add - he's said it all!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twee_dledee
    So how come you wouldn't be so considerate if it was a drug addiction. Wheres sweetheart when we need her?
    It's too late to turn the clock back now and make smoking against the law, but only when it had become an epidemic did the full facts about the health risks become known. I think this is another arguement AGAINST making drugs legal.
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  18. #18
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    If people need a cash incentive to stop smoking, then they should think of the money they will save if the do stop smoking.

    I know of a woman who stopped and put her fag money into a jar every day.
    She had intended to do this for a year, but after 3 months had nearly £400 in her jar, so this stopped and she had a good shopping spree. If she had continued for the year she would of had approx £1500.

    If that is not an incentive then I cant see £50, making much difference.

  19. #19
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    Well as im a smoker im not looking forward to the ban but i do think it will be a good thing in the long term it will make people smoke less and might make certain percentage of smokers to kick the habit.To be honest about i bet about 80% of smokers would love to stop it ive tried a few times and its suprising how long the craving stays with you its not months its years.If i dont quit smoking next year it just means i will be going abroad for my holidays instead of going to other parts of scotland thats all.
    But i would like to point out if this smoke ban makes a lot of people kick the habit that means less money from the goverment because fags are heavily taxed and it means the government will have to increase taxes somewere else
    For me if there making such a big deal about smoking in general why dont they just banned it altogether so you cant buy them in the shops.

  20. #20
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    If folk are going to live longer without the ciggies, aren't they going to want to have a fuller life and in that way contribute to the treasury more than they would have done if they were paying ciggie tax? I mean they will pay more VAT, income tax over their years, etc etc
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

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