In my college ECON classes, we looked at the "externalities" (i.e. social costs) of various legal/illegal drugs. Tobbacco, surprisingly, was quite low; our Prof said that was because, by shortening lives, it reduced Social Scurity payouts by the gov't. In the U.S. (cheap retirement+expensive healthcare) it's a net loss; apparenty, in countries w/ cheap healthcare+expensive retirement, it can actually be a net plus! In Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, Dr. Wheelan cites an example of how Philip Morris (fighting a tax) showed that premature deaths SAVED the Czech gov't $148 million! Now, that may be true, but it takes some real stones to argue that.