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The Price of Smoking Hardcover – November 5, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262195100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262195102
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,080,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From The New England Journal of Medicine

Is it really worth $40 per pack to smoke cigarettes? According to Duke University health economists, $40 is the real cost that a 24-year-old smoker should consider each time he or she purchases a pack of cigarettes. This amounts to $220,000 for men and $106,000 for women who smoke over their lifetimes. Of the nearly $40-per-pack cost, the smoker bears $33. The remaining costs are borne by the smoker's family ($5) and by society ($1). (Figure) Sloan and colleagues present the most comprehensive analysis yet of the cost of smoking. They combine national data from several sources in an innovative way to develop detailed estimates of the economic impact of smoking. The book breaks new ground in using a lifetime-cost framework that carefully teases out the "internal" and "external" costs of smoking -- that is, the part of the cost the smoker bears versus the part imposed on others. They consider the contributions that smokers make to revenues (including health insurance premiums, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) and evaluate whether nonsmokers subsidize smokers in insurance markets. They use their models to evaluate whether current cigarette taxes and payments under the Master Settlement Agreement reached with the tobacco industry in 1998 are set at reasonable levels. The book is easy to follow, even for a noneconomist. The authors begin by reviewing the existing research on smoking costs and describe the data they use and their analytic approach. They next detail the effect of smoking on mortality, health care expenditures, Social Security, private pensions, and insurance programs. Finally, the authors consider the effect of smoking on the health of family members, especially spouses. That smoking costs a substantial amount in terms of health care services, lives lost, and other costs will not surprise those who follow the ongoing saga of tobacco as public health enemy number one. It is somewhat more controversial that smoking actually saves Medicare money by killing off sick smokers at earlier ages, even after the smoker's payroll tax contributions to the program are included. Smoking is also found to save the Social Security program $1,519 per female smoker and $6,549 per male smoker for the same reason. The authors conclude that increases in the cigarette excise tax could be justified because current tax revenues do not cover all the costs imposed on the smoker's family members and society as a whole. However, they question whether the $206 billion Master Settlement Agreement can be justified and suggest that the answer depends in part on how the funds are used. This book, with its clear exposition and easy-to-follow organization, should serve as an excellent primer for readers who want to bring themselves up to speed on the state of knowledge about smoking-related costs. It will be useful for academics, policymakers, advocates, and those simply wishing to stay informed on this important health and policy issue. In the current era of shrinking state and federal budgets and tight competition for public health dollars, the framework that is laid out in this book will also be useful in evaluating other health-related programs to save dollars. Smokers are no doubt tired of hearing that smoking is bad for their health, but perhaps they will respond to arguments that smoking costs them and their family members dearly in other ways, too. Wendy Max, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.

Review

"The book breaks new ground... to present the most comprehensive analysis yet of the cost of smoking." Wendy Max, Ph.D. New England Journal of Medicine



"... It's important to understand... the public policy implications of Sloan's work." Robert A. Levy Chicago Sun-Times



"... It's important to understand... the public policy implications of Sloan's work." Robert A. Levy Chicago Sun-Times



"The health consequences of smoking boost some financial costs to society and lower others. *The Price of Smoking* uses several new data sets to document these effects, which are analyzed on a lifetime basis. These analyses allow Sloan and his collaborators to provide the most detailed estimates to date of the cost implications of smoking for different government programs."--W. Kip Viscusi, Cogan Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard Law School


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Davis on May 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book; The authors measure the cost of smoking, using a technique I had not seen before in the literature. They consider costs comparing smokers to nonsmoking smokers. The latter are persons with the same characteristics as smokers, but that do not smoke. It is a very exact way of measuring the costs of smoking. The book also measure quasi external costs of smoking; that is, costs born by nonsmoking family members of smokers. It is a must have for anyone interested in the economics of smoking or the costs of poor health habits.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Brown on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wonderful for smokers wanting to know what the bad habit can do for you. Especially recommended!
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