US Study: New Jersey Cigarette Smokers Spend Millions

The study examined the financial expenses of smoking a pack of cigarettes per day throughout a lifetime, factoring in pricing in New Jersey, healthcare expenses, income losses, and other associated costs. The findings revealed that residents of New Jersey spend more than $2 million over their lifetime due to smoking.

The calculations, as summarized by Patch, include:

  • Out-of-pocket costs (the average cost of a pack of cigarettes multiplied by the total number of days)
  • Financial opportunity cost (the potential return on investment if the money spent on cigarettes was invested instead)
  • Healthcare costs per smoker
  • Income loss per smoker (calculating the wage gap of 18% between smokers and non-smokers)
  • Other costs (such as expenses related to exposure to secondhand smoke)

Cessation programs are more effective when they emphasize the financial cost of smoking

A recent cross-sectional survey conducted in Brisbane, Australia, explored the perceptions and attitudes of 68 male smokers living in temporary accommodation regarding smoking cessation. The study, titled “Money up in smoke: The financial benefits of smoking cessation may be more motivating to people who are homeless than potential health gains,” highlighted the importance of financial incentives in promoting smoking cessation among certain disadvantaged groups, such as those who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation.

The survey assessed participants’ smoking history, previous quit attempts, and their perceptions of smoking cessation and available cessation tools. Additionally, the researchers investigated the participants’ awareness of the Intensive Quit Support program, a local government-funded initiative offering free smoking cessation support.

The study emphasized that smoking among disadvantaged groups not only contributes to poor health outcomes but also exacerbates financial disadvantages. By recognizing the potential financial benefits of quitting smoking, cessation campaigns can be more effective in motivating individuals in these groups to quit.

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