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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Vaping's Antithesis: The Opioid Crisis

ObamaCare (or the Affordable Care Act or ACA) has put a significant number of Americans on the Medicaid rolls (perhaps as many as 15 million according to this Nation Review article).

While there are many who argue that any change to the ACA will kill thousands there is an interesting footnote provided by the US Center for Disease Control.

Specifically, while on Medicaid (the ACA), you are twice as like to die from an opioid overdose and 5.7 times more likely to die an opioid-related death than someone not on Medicaid (see National Review link and this link to the CDC).

Oh, you might say, grandma is on that and she's old so who cares...?

Well, you might because there are actually about 76 million people on Medicaid (or a little less than a quarter of the country).  This includes CHIP which treats children (who also now have access to opioids).

Chart below from this link:

According to this link about 5% of the people on Medicaid die each year, or about 3.5 million.

So what the ACA has create a huge pool of new addicts including small children.

Remember, National Review says (from the CDC): “opioid prescribing rates among Medicaid enrollees are at least twofold higher than rates for persons with private insurance.”

Obviously this is all driven by big pharma's profit margin.

About a 18 months ago I had a chance to talk with a prison reverend about this topic.  His thought: opioids are the fuel that fills our prisons and, here in PA, killing people on a daily basis.  The reverend also said, and based on what I know he is right, that the vast majority of people in prison are there because of opioids.

The size of this market (the legal part) in the US during 2015, about $12 billion according to this.

But think about not just this direct market, but all the reverends, police, judges, youth homes, welfare systems, social security systems, food stamps, social workers, prison guards, and so forth that benefit from these drugs: without them they wouldn't have jobs.

So what does this have to do with vaping?

Well the "tobacco marketplace" - that is everything tied to not only the sale and treatment of tobacco related disease but all the ancillary stuff (nursing homes, hospitals, etc.) is a market about ten (10x) times the size of the legal opioid market (about 1% of the GDP based on my previous research).

So while opioids kill our loved ones and children nothing is done.

So it's really quite unreasonable to expect, for a market ten times larger, that anything related to tobacco will change either...

The reason is simple: There is no place for healthy people in these systems.


If you vape to stop smoking, you are literally taking jobs away from others.  Ruining their lives.  Stealing their livelihood.

Much better to suffer like a heroin addict because at least he keeps all the ancillary industries busy and fully employed.

You see, as a smoker you are what drives the well being of others.

Your COPD, cancer, and doctor visits fuel their joy and their children's trips to Disney.

People actually fall over (or lie down) and die with opiates.  Like in real time.  Here and now.

How can cigarettes hope to keep up with a problem that literally takes decades to manifest itself?

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