Expenditures on Anti-smoking Programs Affect the Economy

Published on October 4th, 2010 11:50

A pack of cigarettes that is sold for $7.48 in New Jersey, costs the state’s economy $30.29 once the costs of healthcare for smoking related diseases, premature death and lost time at work is considered, according to a research conducted by the American Lung Association.

Generally, the economic expenses of New Jersey’s smokers surpassed $8.3 billion in 2009, according to data presented by the Penn State. Medical expenditures for smoking-related diseases constituted $3.6 billion, while premature deaths because of smoking wasted the economy by a further $2.9 billion, the research said. Smoking also slackens productivity by $1.8 billion.

Outlaying money to help people stop smoking not only saves lives but also saves states money in the long run.

“Stopping smoking is the best and most important step that a smoker can take in order to improve the quality of life. It is very difficult to quit. And many people even do not know that exist special created programs that can help them to kick this bad habit,” Paul Billings, a vice president of the American Lung Association, stated at the conference.

anti-smoking Programs

The cost-benefit on stop-smoking programs constitutes $1.26 in benefits for every dollar spent to introduce them. New Jersey has cut its funding for stop-smoking programs from $7 million to zero. “We are looking at both a budget crisis and increasing health care expenses,” stated, Deborah P. Brown, president of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic.

The federal funds have forced the state to uphold the hot line and a stop-smoking initiative in 30 high schools, declared Dawn Thomas, a spokeswoman for the state Health Department. This year the state allocated $1.3 million for tobacco control: $938,000 for the hot line and $390,000 for the youth programs.

Smoking is the nation’s top preventable cause of death and also the reason of about one in five deaths. Smoking affects practically every part of the body, not just the lungs, as many think.

After many years of progress the decrease in smoking rates among adults has stopped. More than two-thirds of smokers want to quit, but unfortunately it usually takes more than one attempt in order to succeed in this difficult task.

New Jersey has more than 1 million of smokers, and nearly 100,000 tourists who smoke, according to a recently conducted study. Smoking in the states casinos was not banned, thought it is restricted in other public places.

Apart from smoking cessation programs, New Jersey also stand out for the steps it has taken to cut smoking. The percentage of smokers constitutes 14.8 % that is below the national average.

New Jersey has the fourth-highest cigarette taxes in the nation it also bans smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces and various public places, all these actions help save lives and also prevent exposure to second-hand smoke.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

Related tags: anti-smoking | anti-smoking researcher | economy | cigarettes prices

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