September 18, 2010 - In Vermont the annual direct costs to the economy attributable to smoking were in excess of $652 million, including workplace productivity losses of $138 million, premature death losses of approximately $221 million, and direct medical expenditures of $293 million, according to a new study by the American Lung Association.
While the retail price of a pack of cigarettes in Vermont is on average $6.54 ($5.60 New Hampshire; $7.89 New York; $7.23 Massachusetts), the combined medical costs and productivity losses attributable to each pack of cigarettes sold are approximately $24.52 per pack of cigarettes. The ratio of benefits to cost varies from $0.90 to $2.62 saved per dollar spent on smoking cessation programs, depending upon the type of intervention. Nicotine replacement therapies, generic bupropion and varenicline showed substantial benefits to costs from the societal perspective across the sensitivity ranges used for treatment effectiveness. Only brand name bupropion did not have a positive benefits to cost ratio at the low end of the range.
The American Lung Association concludes that for most smoking cessation treatments, the benefits of smoking cessation programs statewide greatly outweigh the cost to implement them.
The report from researchers at Penn State University Potential Costs and Benefits of Smoking Cessation for Vermont, Jill S. Rumberger, PhD, Christopher S. Hollenbeak, PhD and David Kline, April 30, 2010.
Reference: Cigarettes cost Vermont $652 million a year, VERMONTbiz.com, 9/17/2010.
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