Questions About Smoking, Tobacco, and Health

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How does tobacco use affect the economy?

The tobacco industry is one of the most profitable businesses in the US, making billions of dollars every year. But the costs of smoking are far higher than the income from cigarette sales. The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimated that in 2004, smoking led to health costs and productivity losses totaling an average of $10.47 per pack sold and used in the US.

More recent numbers show that annual smoking-attributable economic costs in the US are estimated to be between $289 to 332.5 billion. This total includes:

  • $132.5 to 175.9 billion for direct medical care of adults
  • $151 billion for lost productivity due to premature deaths
  • $5.6 billion for lost productivity due to exposure to secondhand smoke

Last Medical Review: 02/13/2014
Last Revised: 02/13/2014