The Price of Smoking
Frank Sloan, awarded the Victor R. Fuchs Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Health Economics in 2016, is J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Economics at Duke University. He is coauthor of The Price of Smoking (2004) and Medical Malpractice (2008) and coeditor of Incentives and Choices in Health Care (2008), all published by the MIT Press.
What does a pack of cigarettes cost a smoker, the smoker's family, and society? This longitudinal study on the private and social costs of smoking calculates that the cost of smoking to a 24-year-old woman smoker is $86,000 over a lifetime; for a 24-year-old male smoker the cost is $183,000. The total social cost of smoking over a lifetime—including both private costs to the smoker and costs imposed on others (including second-hand smoke and costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security)—comes to $106,000 for a woman and $220,000 for a man. The cost per pack over a lifetime of smoking: almost $40.00. The first study to quantify the cost of smoking in this way, or in such depth, this accessible book not only adds a weapon to the arsenal of antismoking messages but also provides a framework for assessment that can be applied to other health behaviors. The findings on the effects of smoking on Medicare and Medicaid will be surprising and perhaps controversial, for the authors estimate the costs to be much lower than the damage awards being paid to 46 states as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.
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