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There is big negative externality in smoking and over-consumption of alcohol. The damage caused by smokers and binge drinkers extends over and above the individuals using them.

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  • Essay length: 838 words
  • Submitted: 21/04/2008
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International Baccalaureate Economics

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Article 2-analysis

National Health Service (NHS) is universal health care provided to all those living in the UK. In the past few years, however the patients have been complaining about the long waiting lists, low quality services, etc.

A large number of patients who refer to the NHS for treatment are those who do not look after themselves and are not ready to change their negative habits to maintain a healthy life, for example some do not pay attention to the advice of their doctors to give up their smoking or drinking, or do some exercise or avoid overeating. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now saying that it is not fair for those who look after their health to carry the burden of those who abuse the services of the NHS by ignoring medical advices and causing long queues for medical treatment by smoking and drinking carelessly.

There is big negative externality in smoking and over-consumption of alcohol. The damage caused by smokers and binge drinkers extends over and above the individuals using them. Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages can therefore be classified as demerit goods. The social costs of the use of these goods are higher

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