New study reveals staggering costs of smoking in California

January 25, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health 

While the dramatic health impacts of smoking have been widely known for some time, including the fact that cigarette smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year, a new study from WalletHub reveals the unacceptable monetary cost as well.

The study, released in honor of Tobacco-Free Awareness Week, calculates the cumulative costs of the cigarettes themselves, income losses from illness or death, health care expenses and more to determine the true per-person cost of smoking in all 50 states.

In California, the cost of a single smoker throughout his or her lifetime is over $1.5 million, including more than $182,000 in health care costs. That comes out to a cost of nearly $30,000 per smoker per year, including over $3,500 in health care costs each year.

The state has approximately 3.6 million adult smokers and about 200,000 youth smokers. Consequently, smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the state, killing more people than car accidents, murder, suicide, alcohol, illegal drugs and AIDS combined.

These staggering statistics are part of the reason the California Medical Association has joined the Save Lives California coalition, which is currently gathering signatures to place a $2-per-pack tobacco tax on the November 2016 ballot.

For full study results, click here. To learn more about the Save Lives California coalition, go to www.savelivesca.com.


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