What are the health and economic costs of smoking?

Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability, and premature death in the United States. The numbers are sobering:

  • Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke result in more than 443,000 deaths a year.
  • For every person who dies from smoking, another 20 people are living with a smoking-related disease.
  • Smoking costs the United States about $96 billion each year in medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity due to premature death.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Smoking may cost you your life, and to add insult to injury, it'll burn a hole in your pocket while it's trashing your body. The price of cigarettes depends on the manufacturer and on your state taxes. If you smoke a pack a day, that can add up thousands of dollars a year if you live in a high-tax state. Then there's the medical and dental bills (yes, smoking does a number on your teeth too) and the lost wages if you or your kids get sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that tobacco costs Americans $97 billion in lost productivity plus $96 billion in healthcare costs. That's a lot of dough we're spending and a lot of suffering we're enduring for the sake of some little tobacco-filled sticks.

The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the U.S. is $5.31, and depending on where you live, it could be a lot more. When you do the math, you'll realize you're spending a lot of money, probably at least a couple of thousand dollars a year, to support your nicotine addiction.  And that isn't counting extra medical costs and higher insurance bills for the bad things tobacco does to your health. Quit smoking and put that money to better use.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.