Cumulative U.S. Economic Loss From Smoking Equals 4.3 Percent of GDP


FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2022 — Smoking causes substantial economic loss in the United States, according to a study published Oct. 1 in The Lancet Public Health.

Nigar Nargis, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Kennesaw, Georgia, and colleagues estimated the state-level economic loss (personal income per capita) attributable to cigarette smoking.

In the mixed-effects economic model, the researchers found that the elasticity of personal income per capita with respect to the prevalence of nonsmoking adults was 0.143. In 2020, the estimated annual income loss per capita ranged from $331 in Utah to $1,674 in Kentucky, with a mean population-weighted loss per capita of $1,100. At the national level, the annual combined loss of income and unpaid household production was $436.7 billion (equivalent to 2.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product [GDP] in 2020). Cumulatively, this loss was $864.5 billion (equivalent to 4.3 percent of U.S. GDP in 2020).

“Smoking causes substantial economic loss in the USA,” the authors write. “Tobacco control efforts that lower the prevalence of smoking equitably can contribute considerably to improved macroeconomic performance in the short and long term by reducing health expenditures and avoiding productivity losses.”

Abstract/Full Text

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