Following on from my piece about proposals to ban smoking in US public housing, I started wondering today what happened to smokers when they got evicted from public housing. Looking through Jariel’s comments, I found she’d already answered that question:
What happens to a low-income person if they are evicted because they smoke? They become homeless.
And isn’t being homeless a danger to health.? It certainly is. UK study Homelessness kills.
Homeless people are more likely to die young, with an average age of death of
47 years old and even lower for homeless women at 43, compared to 77 for the
general population, 74 for men and 80 for women.
The standardized mortality ratio or SMR, is a quantity, expressed as either a ratio or percentage, quantifying the increase or decrease in mortality of a study cohort with respect to the general population. SMRs for the homeless (right) range from 200% to 513%, which means that their age-specific death rates are between 2 and 5 times higher than the same age group in the general population.
Age-specific death rates (ASDRs) for US and Venezuala in 2002:
How many people are in US public housing? Answer:
Across the nation there are 8.7 million residents living in public housing. Over 2.2 million residents live in traditional public housing, and another 6.5 million residents use the Housing Choice Voucher program
There are 3.3 million children under the age of 18 living in public housing, which is approximately 38% of the total population of residents.
31% of residents in public housing and 18% Housing Choice Voucher households include are seniors residents (age 62 and above).
89% of Public Housing residents and 96% Housing Choice Voucher residents fall into HUD’s “Very Low Income” category, with an income of less than 50% of thenational median.
28% of residents smoke compared to 17% of the general population.
28% of the residents amounts to 2.4 million people. But there are likely to be families which are evicted because one or more members of them are smokers. The numbers of evicted will probably be higher than 2.4 million. Most of these smokers will be probably found in the adult resident population.
Given the above figures, if all smokers are evicted from US public housing, at what excess rate can they be expected to die above that expected if they’d kept their homes?
Assuming a guessed mean adult ASDR of about 7/1000, and a guessed mean SMR of 300%, death rates among the homeless will be about 3 x 7 / 1000 or 21/1000, and the excess death rate will be 14/1000, which will amount in the first year to 2.4 million x 14/1000 deaths per annum, or 33,600 excess deaths per annum, mostly found on the streets of US cities.
Eventually, all 2.4 million homeless smokers will be dead. It will be a smoker holocaust, engineered by Tobacco Control with the assistance of HUD, using neither gas chambers nor mass graves, and with the US taxpayer picking up the tab for the disposal of their bodies.