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Connoisseurs of pipe tobacco will tell you how much they enjoy a good shag. Pipe smoking is entirely about taste and most pipe smokers do not inhale the smoke. Pipe tobacco is also free of harmful additives, unlike the 599 documented additives in cigarettes. So it is not surprising that one of the most extensive studies carried out by the US Surgeon General was good news for pipe smokers.

"The death rates for pipe smokers are little if at all higher than for non-smokers, even for men who smoke 10 or more pipefuls a day and for men who have smoked pipes more than 30 years," the report concluded. Since cigars are also additive-free and the smokers are meant to taste and not inhale, the report noted the "death rates for men smoking less than 5 cigars a day are about the same as for non-smokers."

Walking to his office at Princeton University in a trail of smoke, Albert Einstein’s most inspired quip on his beloved briar is legendary among pipe smokers: "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs."

On its seventieth birthday, Britain’s National Health Service is broke and broken because it has dumped "calm and objective judgement" and can no longer tell the difference between a good shag and a bad shag. If you watch the increasingly obscene programming on British television or enter a pub on an alcohol-fueled Friday night, the word shag will hit you like pellets from a shotgun cartridge.

Those wanting a shag in these venerable venues are not Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings praising coarse-cut Longbottom Leaf pipe tobacco over flake or plug tobacco. In British slang, a shag is a four-letter word for sexual intercourse; not sex on the marital bed, but the debauched, wanton, free-for-all sex that is the new normal in the post-Christian British moral consciousness.

The NHS has a problem with the one kind of shagging, i.e. smoking. In 2010, the NHS pumped £84million of taxpayers’ money into its Stop Smoking campaign and over half a billion since the campaign was launched in 2001. But, the NHS does not distinguish between relatively safer modes of consuming tobacco – like pipe or cigar smoking and the obviously harmful intake of cigarette smoke.

The health gurus will tell you ad nauseam that shagging, i.e. smoking is harmful – it kills; it causes every illness imaginable – from lung to testicular cancer. The masses wildly applaud this wisdom. In 2015, a National Health Report asked if the taxpayer should continue to pay for "poor lifestyle choices" like smoking which "contribute heavily to causing illness".

It also questioned if procedures like cosmetic surgery, in vitro fertilization or obesity treatment, should be offered free of cost. It found most people agreeing that alcohol abusers should pay for their own treatment. More than half of those surveyed said the NHS should not fund treatment if smoking had caused the illness.

I agree. Rights come with responsibilities. Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume someone else will pick up the tab. If you’re going to get pissed up binge drinking every weekend at ‘Uni’ while studying for a degree in gender studies, you have the right to condemn your liver to death by cirrhosis.

Just don’t come begging and ask me to pay for it. And don’t expect me to pay Accident and Emergency Services to pump out the overdose of drugs from your decomposing insides. I’m already paying the cops to keep the peace when your mates are getting boozed up and fighting. I’m also paying the council to spray your vomit off the sidewalk.

The good news is that the pissed up are actually costing the NHS less than the shagged out. However, while the National Health Report dwells on the nuisance value of alcoholism, drugs, and smoking to the public purse, it dons its politically correct vestments and completely blanks out the colossal expenditure resulting from immoral and irresponsible sexual behavior.

The fundamental flaw is in the modern mantra: sex doesn’t hurt anyone as long as it is between two consenting adults. This sole criterion governs the new sexual morality. However, the staggering spike in sexually transmitted diseases and the spiraling costs to a publicly funded health service proves that there is no such thing as free sex, even if it is between two consenting adults.

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Free sex is anything but free, and Britain is paying a very high price for free sex. Counting the Cost: Economics of Sexually Transmitted Infections estimates that the UK spends over £1 billion annually on treating STIs alone.

The Public Health Report (PHE) published in June 2018 reveals 420,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed in 2017, with a 20% increase in syphilis. The increase in syphilis follows a 10-year trend, with 78% of diagnoses in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

Shockingly, the highest rates of STIs continue to be seen in 16 to 24 year olds. Over 1.3 million chlamydia tests were carried out and over 126,000 chlamydia diagnoses were made among young people aged 15 to 24 years. "The impact of STIs remains greatest in young heterosexuals 15 to 24 years; black ethnic minorities; and gay, bisexual and other MSM," the report concludes.

An article in a peer-reviewed journal classifies the conditions homosexually active men encounter into four general groups: classical sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, infections with Chlamydia trachomatis, syphilis, herpes simplex infections, genital warts, pubic lice, scabies); enteric diseases (infections with Shigella species, Campylobacter jejuni, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis non-A, non-B, and cytomegalovirus); trauma (fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids, anal fissure, foreign bodies, rectosigmoid tears, allergic proctitis, penile edema, chemical sinusitis, inhaled nitrite burns, and sexual assault of the male patient); and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Even worse, the NHS spends £1 million a week providing repeat abortions as thousands of women use abortion as a form of contraception. Single or unmarried women account for five out of every six repeat terminations. Each abortion costs the NHS from £680 to £1,000. Taxpayers spent £118m on abortions in 2010.

This time, of course, it is not the woman’s body. Embryology confirms that she is killing another body in her womb, because scientifically speaking every fetus is a distinct, living, and whole human being. Lucy Lanelly had her first abortion at the age of 12, but she did not learn her lesson. She went on to have abortions when she was 13, 15 and 16 – using abortion as a form of contraception – and using the taxpayer to pay for the consequences of her lifestyle choices.

Key findings show that, between 2013 and 2020, unintended pregnancy and STIs could cost the UK between £84.4 billion and £127 billion. To put this in context, the planned NHS expenditure for 2017-18 is a little over £123 billion.

All this splurging on shagging does not include the ballooning cost of treatment for patients of gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery. The NHS is now paying for adolescent boys who think they are girls to have their sperm frozen before they undergo gender reassignment treatment so they can father children after they change sex. Egg freezing costs £4,000 for one cycle and around £300 a year for storage. The price of preserving sperm is around £400, plus £300 a year to keep it frozen.

This weekend as thousands of Jeremy Corbyn-led freeloaders marched through London demanding more free lunches on the NHS, PM Theresa May vowed that she would flush down another £20 billion into the black hole of the busted NHS toilet.

The money will come from your pocket as the government raises fuel and alcohol duty to pay for the shagged out and pissed out patients who have bankrupted the National Health Service. I have a better alternative. Let the shagged out and pissed up pay for their own treatment.

You shag, you pay. Your body, your choice – my money, my choice! Happy birthday, NHS!

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Jules Gomes

by Jules Gomes

The Rev’d Dr Jules Gomes, BA, BD, MTh, PhD (Cantab) is a journalist and academic.

Isle of Man