Investing in smoking cessation programs would provide savings for states

Nov 29, 2010

States can save money through investing in smoking cessation programs

The amount of evidence that supports why people should quit smoking continues to rise. Many people are aware of the health advantages and lower life insurance premiums that comes along with kicking the habit, but a new study released by the American Lung Association shows states stand to benefit as well.

The study reveals that smoking costs the economy more than $301 billion a year in lost productivity, premature death, and medical bills. The researchers also found that states would see a 26 percent return on smoking cessation programs.

American Lung Association president and CEO Charles Connor says the study clearly indicates the financial benefits to states that help people stop smoking.

"This study spells out in dollars and cents the great potential economic benefits to states of helping smokers quit," says Connor. "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."

There were approximately 45.9 million smokers in the country, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey.

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