Smoking – What it’s really costing you
Financial impact of smoking is staggering
When it comes to information about smoking, the emphasis is usually on its impact to health. But smoking also has a draining impact on health care and productivity. An estimated 46.5 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates the economic burden of tobacco use is more than $75 billion in medical expenditures, up from about $43 billion in 1993. In Michigan, the CDC estimates that annual health care expenditures directly caused by tobacco use are $2.65 billion. Smoking also has an impact on productivity in the workplace: Cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke cost $92 billion in productivity losses annually, according to the CDC.
The CDC puts a $3,391 price tag on each employee who smokes: $1,760 in lost productivity and $1,623 in excess medical expenditures. In a study of health care utilization in 20,831 employees of a single, large employer, employees who smoked had more hospital admissions per 1,000 (124 vs. 76), had a longer average length of stay (6.47 vs. 5.03 days), and made six more visits to health care facilities per year than nonsmoking employees.
BCN resources: The Blues Quit the Nic smoking cessation program is available to members over 18. Call 800-811-1764 to enroll, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.