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Addiction – Smoking: What’s the “Real Cost”?

Disease and death - it’s real as millions die every year; economic costs exceed $300 billion each year

Addictions destroy budgets and oh so much more. There are a lot of things in this world that can get you addicted. Could you stop if you wanted to? So, you can’t stop? Tunabudget believes there are solutions. Maybe the first step, if there is an addiction, would be an acknowledgment that there is an addiction problem. As most people will admit, unresolved addictions may not only destroy your life, they may destroy the family unit too – as it often does. You likely already know this. Regardless, seriously consider the following facts from 2016 to 2018:

Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); World Health Organization (WHO)

Smoking and Tobacco Use

Diseases and Death:

  • Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body

  • More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking

  • For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness

  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis

  • Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis

  • Smoking is a known cause of erectile dysfunction in males

  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death

  • Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030

  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day

  • On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers

  • If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today

Costs and Expenditures:

  • The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on cigarette and smokeless tobacco advertising and promotions; in 2016, $9.5 billion was spent on advertising and promotion of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco combined—about $26 million every day, and more than $1 million every hour

  • Price discounts to retailers account for 66.7% of all cigarette marketing (about $5.8 billion). These are discounts paid in order to reduce the price of cigarettes to consumers

  • Smoking costs the United States billions of dollars each year; total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults, and more than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke

  • State spending on tobacco prevention and control does not meet CDC-recommended levels; States have billions of dollars from tobacco taxes and tobacco industry legal settlements to prevent and control tobacco use. However, states currently use a very small amount of these funds for tobacco control programs

  • In fiscal year 2018, states will collect a record $27.5 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements but will only spend $721.6 million—less than 3%—on prevention and cessation programs

  • Currently, not a single state funds tobacco control programs at CDC’s “recommended” level. Only two states (Alaska and California) provide more than 90 percent of recommended funding. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia are spending less than 20 percent of what the CDC recommends. Two states (Connecticut and West Virginia) have allocated no state funds for tobacco use prevention

  • Spending 12% (i.e., $3.3 billion) of the $27.5 billion would fund every state tobacco control program at CDC-recommended levels

Worldwide facts:

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users

  • Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year

  • More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke

  • Around 80% of the world's 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries


  • Is there anyone in your life that you could possibly reach out to, and humbly approach for guidance, love, and hope?

  • Is there an organization that offers assistance at a cost that you can afford in order to get help?

  • How far and at what cost have your addictions taken you?

  • What have you already lost, and what do you stand to lose?

  • Are you earnestly seeking and desiring to get your addictions behind you once and for all?

  • What are you willing to give to sacrifice to change, and how best should that change take place?

  • Do you really know what you need to do, but are just too chained to the addiction?

  • Are you addicted?

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