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Paying for smoking

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that diseases caused by smoking – notably with today’s more lethal cigarettes – costs America a big bundle of cash. At Georgia State University, researcher Terry Pechacek added up the bill based on databases that covered the years from 2006 to 2010.

Pechacek says the cost per year is $170 billion, with 60 percent paid through government programs. He also says that, even though smoking rates have been easing down, the costs to society have been going up:

“While there are fewer smokers, each one of them is getting sicker – and are getting sicker sooner.”

The study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.