Extraordinarily High Cost of Smoking
significantly more costly then originally thought
The CDC finds the expense
of smoking is twice that of previous estimates.
-- Smoking costs the United States $150 billion each year in
health costs and lost productivity, 50 percent more than previously
estimated, according to a study published Thursday by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
The analysis put
the economic costs of smoking at $3,393 per smoker per year. That
comes to an estimated $7.18 in medical costs and lost productivity for
every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States, researchers said.
In 1999, 22 billion packs were sold.
The CDC study,
published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, looked at
deaths related to smoking, years of life lost and economic costs and
found smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death
in the United States.
440,000 Americans died prematurely of smoking every year from 1995
The study shows
that, on average, smoking costs men 13.2 years of life and women, 14.5
"The stunning toll
that smoking takes on life is unacceptable," said Rosemarie Henson,
director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "States and
communities can and should do more to reduce the impact of smoking on
the physical and financial health of their communities. People need to
costs in 1998 were $81.9 billion in productivity losses from deaths
and $75.5 billion in excess medical expenditures, for a total of more
than $150 billion, according to the report.
medical and productivity losses were larger than previous estimates of
$53 billion and $43 billion, respectively.
smoking-related report published by the CDC on Thursday looked at
state tobacco control efforts and found that only a few states are
funding tobacco prevention programs at the CDC's minimum recommended
states receive about $16 billion in revenue a year from tobacco
companies for lawsuit settlement payments and state tobacco excise
taxes, while allocating $861 million in fiscal year 2002 for tobacco
smoking cessation programs. That covers funding from all
federal, state and nongovernmental sources.
people should be horrified and outraged to learn that our nation is
devoting so few resources to fighting a tobacco epidemic that costs us
so much in lives and money, they need to
quite smoking" said Matthew
L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
"States that have
implemented comprehensive tobacco prevention programs and increased
tobacco taxes have dramatically cut smoking among both children and
adults, reduced the incidence of lung cancer and heart disease, and
saved millions in health care costs," he said. "These CDC reports
strip public officials of all excuses not to act."
The first report,
on smoking related mortality, for the first time contains information
on the impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy, saying it caused
approximately 1,007 infant deaths per year from 1995 to 19999, and in
1996 neonatal medical expenditures were estimated at $366 million, or
$704 per maternal smoker.
"We have an
opportunity to keep infants healthy, reduce medical costs and improve
women's long-term health by helping women quit during pregnancy and
beyond," said Dr. C. Tracy Orleans, senior scientist at the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation. "These data show us that now is the time to
support proven strategies."
Studies show that
5- to 15-minute counseling sessions conducted by a trained provider
and supported with self-help materials can double, and in some cases
triple, the rate at which pregnant women