(The Center Square) – The dangers of cigarette smoking are well known, but a recent study by WalletHub determined how much the habit can cost people in Indiana and other states.
According to to learn, the cost per smoker in Indiana is nearly $2.5 million. The Fiscal Health Promotion website determined this number based on several factors, including the average price of a pack of cigarettes in each state, how much individuals could have made had they invested rather than buying a pack a day, and the associated medical costs costs smoking.
To buy a pack a day for 48 years would cost an Indiana smoker $124,742 over a lifetime. They probably would have made almost $1.7 million if they had invested that money instead.
WalletHub based investment returns on historical returns from the S&P 500 and also factored in inflation to show current value.
The health care cost per smoker in Hoosier State is more than $133,000. This is based on the amount spent annually on smoking-related health problems in the state divided by the number of smokers.
Indiana has the lowest cigarette tax compared to its neighbors. At 99.5 cents per box, the state ranked 39th nationally. Kentucky’s tax of $1.10 ranks 37th, while Illinois is 12th highest at $2.98. According to Tobacco Free Kids, the Michigan tax is $2 each, the 19th highest tax, and the Ohio tax of $1.60 is the 29th.
Indiana remains one of the worst states for percentage of smokers. According to the America’s Health Rankings 2022 report, 17.3% of the state’s adults were smokers. That ranked Missouri 41st nationally.
Melinda J. Ickes, professor of kinesiology and health promotion at the University of Kentucky, noted that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that states spend more than $56 million a year on tobacco control programs. However, only three states are approaching that number.
According to the Truth Initiative, Indiana spent $7.5 million on tobacco prevention programs in 2020.
Ickes said there was still a need for groups like the American Lung Association, and for employers and health insurance companies to continue to urge their workers and members to break the habit.
“I think it’s easy for a lot of people to forget that tobacco addiction is a chronic disease,” Ickes said. “Most individuals who smoke or use any form of tobacco, including smokeless cigarettes, e-cigarettes, etc., make multiple cessation attempts before success, and the majority require repeat cessation interventions.”