Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
When cigarette smokers quit, societal health care costs immediately plunge, a new study shows (Source: “Health Care Costs Nosedive when Smokers Quit,” Reuters, May 18, 2016).
If 10% of American smokers gave up cigarettes and the rest cut back by 10%, the United States could shave $63 billion off medical costs the next year, the analysis found.
The study is the first to project cost savings within a year of smoking reductions throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The analysis makes the case for tobacco-control policies as “a very good form of health care and societal investment by governments,” according to the authors of an editorial accompanying the study in PLOS Medicine.
The report points out that California and Arizona slashed health care costs following smoking reductions. Research also has shown that smokers who quit cut their risk of heart and asthma attacks within a month, and pregnant women who stopped smoking were more likely to deliver infants at healthy birth weights than smokers.
The new study found that regions with lower smoking rates had substantially lower medical costs from 1992 through 2009.