There's also the good folk that cremate everything they barbeque and that's carcinogenic - acrylamides for one.
Last year the tax revenue from cigarettes in Canada was 7 billion dollars, and that's not including sales taxes.. Cost to Canada for cigarette related illnesses? 3.5 billion last year. So, ahem, just who is really addicted to cigs? Or at least, the revenue?
One of my palliative patients was a smoker. She died at 51. Cost to the system? 2 radiation treatments - 4 doctor's appointments and 2 hours a week of in home care from the government. Meds were Tylenol and morphine. We saved the system money too, by inviting her to stay with us and pass away in our home, which she did.
She paid 1.00 to 8.00 a day for her habit in taxes over 32 years. Roughly, her tax contribution over the years was about 10 - 15,000 dollars. I'd say the government cleaned up. They saved a whole pile of Canada pension plan too.
Though it can be frustrating to help those that don't or haven't helped themselves, it's also a measure of the quality of a society, (and ourselves) - their collective compassion for those perceived as 'less than ourselves'.
Cigarettes, fast food, alcohol, sky-diving - race driving - bungie jumping etc etc are all legal with variable risks. But they're legal.
We treat illegal drug addicts.
We have social medicine in this county (Canada), because as its founder back in 1963 said, your ability to get help (health-care) shouldn't be determined by the size of your wallet.
The nasty carcinogens spewed out of vehicle exhaust pipes in vast volumes means too, that a health tax charged to the oil companies and NOT permitted to be handed down to consumers makes a bit of sense, eh?
There's something odd about a country that would legalize and vastly benefit monetarily from a potentially lethal product and then refuse to treat the people that got ill from consumption of it.