Health Costs and Other Costs of Smoking

By: scubaman
A recent study found that in total, smoking costs the United States approximately $150 billion each year including lost productivity and health costs. Other studies estimate the real cost of cigarettes to be about $40 a pack, once all the related medical expenses are factored in. With such phenomenal figures, it is not surprising that an increasing amount of research is being devoted to the cost of smoking from a number of angles and including a number of industries.

The costs of smoking go beyond the direct treatment of smoking-related health concerns. Studies on worker absenteeism and productivity show a significantly higher cost to employers for smokers than non-smoking employees. Over the years, second hand smoke has also contributed significantly to the overall expense. Although research and education has improved drastically in recent decades, thousands of young people still start smoking every day, and the high economic, medical and social costs of smoking continue.

There are numerous resources available online that describe in detail the many economic and health related costs of smoking. Several very valuable and informative websites include:

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)
-Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS) - reports, educational materials, cessation resources and more
-Press Releases
-SAMMEC software (Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs) - an online tool that allows individuals to calculate smoking-related costs

Another up to date source of research and information is professional Journal articles, searchable on such online databases as PubMed (www.pubmed.gov), A service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health. National and regional studies on smoking and related issues can be found, compared and compiled for a comprehensive overview of statistical findings and recent developments.

Other organizations, such as the American Lung Association focus largely on the cost to human life (www.lungusa.org), and how to reduce and overcome the contributing factors such as nicotine addiction. From any angle, it is obvious that the cost to society of smoking-related illnesses and other effects is significant. For more information about the costs, contributing factors, and what you can do about it, browse some of the online resources available. Past action has resulted in the vast increase of no-smoking offices, buildings and other public spaces, leading to a significant decrease in conditions resulting from second-hand smoke. We can all help play a part in the continued efforts towards improved understanding of smoking's costs, and hopefully reducing them.

Smoking is not just a personal habit, but a contributing factor to large scale social problems. It is going to take widespread concern and concerted efforts to make substantial changes. Thankfully, with the numerous smoking cessation methods and products available today, there is more help for those who wish to quit smoking than ever before.
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