Report: CT May Be Second Worst State for Average Health Costs from Smoking

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Connecticut cigarette smokers, at least potentially, pay more for their unhealthy habit than smokers in any state except New York, according to a recent report from WalletHub.com.

According to the website, the average lifetime cost per smoker in Connecticut is $2,447,965 (only New Yorkers have a higher cost: $2,458,044). That mostly comes from a high “financial opportunity cost” of $1,641,730 but also includes out-of-pocket costs, health-care costs, lost income and other costs (see table, below).

WalletHub.com explained what they mean by “financial opportunity cost” this way:

  • “To determine the per-person Financial Opportunity Cost, we calculated the amount of return a person would have earned by instead investing that money in the stock market over the same period. We used the historical average market return rate for the S&P 500 minus the inflation rate during the same time period to reflect the return in present-value terms.”

“Smoking doesn’t just ruin your health,” said the Real Cost of Smoking by State report from WalletHub.com. “It can also burn a nasty hole through your wallet.

“Tobacco use accounts for nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. Even those around tobacco smokers aren’t safe from its harmful effects.

WalletHub graphic Smoking costs study

Image from WalletHub on Facebook

Costly habit

Since 1964, smoking-related illnesses have claimed over 20 million lives in the U.S., 2.5 million of which belonged to nonsmokers who developed diseases merely from secondhand-smoke exposure.”

Here’s what WalletHub’s announcement about the new report said:

With the economic and societal costs of smoking totaling more than $300 billion a year and rising, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on The Real Cost of Smoking by State as well as accompanying videos.

To encourage the estimated 34.2 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub calculated the potential monetary losses — including the lifetime and annual costs of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Key Stats

  • The estimated financial cost of smoking over a lifetime is just above $1.6 million per smoker.
  • The out-of-pocket cost per smoker is $124,023 over a lifetime. Smokers in New York will pay the highest cost, $194,899, which is 2.3 times higher than in Missouri, where smokers will pay the lowest cost at $86,001.
  • Each smoker will incur an average of $253,013 in income loss over a lifetime. Smokers in the District of Columbia will lose the highest amount, $347,628, which is 1.9 times higher than in West Virginia, where smokers will lose the lowest amount at $179,916.
  • Each smoker will incur an average of $170,991 in smoking-related health-care costs over a lifetime. Smokers in Connecticut will pay the highest amount, $290,896, which is 2.6 times higher than in Arkansas, where smokers will pay the lowest amount at $113,392.

Here are the top parts of tables from the study (go to the report, here, to see the full tables):

 

Smoking Cost Per Year CT and Other States

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