East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Ranked 45 in Overall Smoking Costs

January 20, 2015, 10:21 AM HST
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A recent WalletHub study gauged the financial cost of smoking in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. They study was conducted through the calculation of potential monetary losses, including the cumulative cost a cigarette pack per day over the course of several decades, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs that are brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Hawai’i was overall ranked 45 on the list, only having lower overall costs than New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Alaska.

Forty-six seemed to be the ranking number most closely associated with Hawai’i as the overall tobacco cost per smoker ranked number 46 throughout the nation, at $185,972. While, other costs brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke were also ranked 46. Income loss per smoker was also took the ranking 46, with a loss of $270,537 per smoker.

Health care costs for smokers in Hawai’i were slightly lower than the other state findings, ranked at 40 with health costs per smoker at $185,972.

The calculations for the study were conducted on the assumption of adult smokers, smoking one pack of cigarettes per day begin at the age of 18, and who continued to smoke for the next 51 years, taking into account that 69 is the average age at which a smoker dies.


According to the study 20 million lives have been claimed in the United States from smoking-related illnesses since 1964. Of the 20 million deaths, 2.5 million belonged to nonsmokers who developed diseases from secondhand-smoke exposure. Tabacco use also accounts for 443,000 premature death that occur in the U.S. every year.


In addition, the American Lung Association states that men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer, while women are 13 times more likely to do so than their non-smoking peers.

More than $301 billion is spent per year in the U.S. on smoking-related issues, a number that continues to rise. WalletHub breaks down the numbers in their study stating that the $301 billion total includes, $116.4 billion in direct health care costs, $67.5 billion in workplace productivity losses and $117.1 billion in early deaths related to smoking.

“The most effective interventions have involved a two-prong approach: increasing cessation support and education, while at the same time limiting access by increasing cost decreasing smoking locations,” according to Irina Ellison, Associate Professor of Biology & Health Promotions at St. Francis College.

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