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New study finds positive return on investment for states that invest in quit smoking treatments
Date:9/14/2010

Washington, DC, (September 14, 2010) A new study released today by the American Lung Association, and conducted by researchers at Penn State University, finds that helping smokers quit not only saves lives but also offers favorable economic benefits to states. The study, titled Smoking Cessation: the Economic Benefits, provides a nationwide cost-benefit analysis that compares the costs to society of smoking with the economic benefits of states providing cessation (quit-smoking) coverage. The study comes at an important time, as important cessation benefit provisions are being implemented at the federal and state levels as a result of healthcare reform legislation.

Each year, tobacco use kills 393,000 people in America, and this new study identifies significant and staggering costs directly attributable to death and disease caused by smoking. For example, the study finds that smoking results in costs to the U.S. economy of more than $301 billion. This includes workplace productivity losses of $67.5 billion, costs of premature death at $117 billion, and direct medical expenditures of $116 billion.

The study also calculates the combined medical and premature death costs and workplace productivity losses per pack of cigarettes. The nationwide average retail pack of cigarettes is $5.51. The costs and workplace productivity losses nationwide equal $18.05more than 300 percent the average retail price of a cigarette pack.

"This study spells out in dollars and cents the great potential economic benefits to states of helping smokers quit. We urge the District of Columbia and all states to offer full coverage of clinically proven cessation treatments for smokers, which will not only save lives but also money," Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of illness and death in the United States and surveys show that 70 percent of tobacco users want to quit
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Contact: Kendra Kojcsich
kendra.kojcsich@porternovelli.com
202-973-2919
Porter Novelli
Source:Eurekalert

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