Study: Health Care Costs Would Drop $63 Billion If Only One-Tenth Of Smokers Quit

cigaretteThere is an interesting study out of the University of San Francisco California by James Lightwood (associate professor in the UCSF School of Pharmacy) and his colleagues on the cost of smoking. The team found that if 1 in 10 people in the US quit smoking, health care costs would drop $63 billion in next year.


The health care costs were not only calculated for smokers but those who are affected by second-hand smoke. The reduction came with a fall in heart disease, lung disease and complications during pregnancy.

Smoking cigarettes causes about one out of every five deaths in the US each year. That translates to more than 480,000 deaths each year. Mortality is higher for men (278,544) than women (201,773).

These are truly staggering figures. While I remain a firm believer that individuals should make this choice for themselves, the study would suggest that even greater educational programs to deter smoking would be efficient if they can help reduce these numbers of smokers.

Source: Science News Journal

26 thoughts on “Study: Health Care Costs Would Drop $63 Billion If Only One-Tenth Of Smokers Quit

  1. To lower the resistance to higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol, give (subsidize) a percentage of the increase in taxes to the producers of them. At least for a while. Calculate the amount of subsidy by estimating the loss of revenues to the producers caused by the higher taxes. Then use the balance (or a percentage of it) to the non-smokers by subsidizing their health care premiums. Anything left over can go to programs to try to convince the smokers and drinkers to give up their bad habits. Everybody will be happy except for the smokers and drinkers.

  2. No doubt john. But they like to pick on smokers….easy to treat them with less dignity. For instance i,ve been following the opiod bill on cspan. Apparently, 30k ppl a year in the us o.d. on rx opiods. Meaning a md prescibed it, and taxpayers or the “mandatory insured” paid for it….at least before it hit the street. The govt doesnt try to cure the opiod addictions by raising prices or a “sin” tax.
    But smokers are an easy target. Because the provide the feds and states $40 billion in sin tax revenue a year….nevermind the dividend and capital gains taxes many none smokers pay because they are invested in big tobacco. ..
    Because big tobacco turns a profit still. In fact the usa tobacco production is in the world top four countries.

    As to the argument anove for a separte pool….obamacare already was going to charge fifty percent more premiums for smokers that can’t be subsidized. Also $17 Billion from smokers alone goes into schip….healthcare for kids. If the sin tax actually went to the sinners pool….but it doesn’t…
    Its spent on other ppl’s kids.

    And above someone claims to know what “kind” of ppl smoke. Just the poor and dumb. I am sure obama would disagree.

    For an example of the wrongness over over categorizing in the past decade both my inlaws passed. The one an retired af officer started smoking on lucky strikes….from nam. He died of smoking related issues….which was no different than his wife dying of pnemonia….physically. And i suspect in the end more healthcare dollars were spent on her…the non smoker.

  3. Plus lets not forget the govt itself costs healthcare unnecessarily….they “rent” oxygen machines at like $350 a month. Maybe fine for temporary situations…
    But very stupid for emphazema etc.

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