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Hawai’i Smokers Pay One of the Nation’s Highest Financial Costs

January 19, 2016, 9:55 AM HST (Updated January 19, 2016, 9:55 AM) · 20 Comments
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smoking cigarettes pixabayHawai’i smokers are paying one of the highest costs in the country. With more than 66 million tobacco users in the United States spending over $326 billion collectively on these tobacco costs, just how much individuals pay has a lot to do with where they live, according to a recent study.

Financial website Wallethub recently rolled out the data compiling The True Cost of Smoking, which has broken down and rated each state’s smoking-associated costs.

The study calculated potential monetary losses, including the cumulative cost of a cigarette pack per day over several decades, healthcare expenditures, income losses, and other costs brought on by smoking and the exposure to secondhand smoke.

Wallethub, for sake of the study, assumed that an adult smokes one pack of cigarettes per day, beginning at age 18. Researchers also assumed a lifespan of 51 years, taking into account that 69-years-old is the average age that a smoker dies.

Hawai’i ranked 48th for overall costs related to smoking. The study included all of the states and the District of Columbia and used a rank base where zero was the lowest, 25 was average, and 51 was the highest.

Although among the highest costs in the country, the state came in with lower numbers than Alaska, Massachusetts, and New York.

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With a total cost over a lifetime per smoker at $2,186,781, Wallethub broke down Hawai’i’s numbers, ranking the state 49th when it came to out-of-pocket cost per smoker and financial opportunity cost per smoker. Each made up $164,538 and $1,555,886 of the overall costs, respectively.

Healthccare cost per smoker ranked 35th at $175,171. Income loss per smoker was listed at $278,260, with a 46th place rank. Other costs came in at $12,927, ranked 41st.

Nearly half-a-million premature deaths in the U.S. on a yearly basis are attributed to tobacco use. The American Lung Association also lists tobacco use as the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. each year.

In addition, nonsmokers who have developed diseases from secondhand-smoke exposure have accounted for 2.5 million of 20 million lives lost to smoking-related illness since 1964.

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