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Hardcover | $9.75 Short | £8.95 | 320 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 9 illus. | November 2004 | ISBN: 9780262195102
Paperback | $5.75 X | £4.95 | 320 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 9 illus. | August 2006 | ISBN: 9780262693455
eBook | $14.95 Short | August 2006 | ISBN: 9780262253499
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The Price of Smoking


What does a pack of cigarettes cost a smoker, the smoker's family, and society? This longitudinal study on the private and social costs of smoking calculates that the cost of smoking to a 24-year-old woman smoker is $86,000 over a lifetime; for a 24-year-old male smoker the cost is $183,000. The total social cost of smoking over a lifetime—including both private costs to the smoker and costs imposed on others (including second-hand smoke and costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) —comes to $106,000 for a woman and $220,000 for a man. The cost per pack over a lifetime of smoking: almost $40.00. The first study to quantify the cost of smoking in this way, or in such depth, this accessible book not only adds a weapon to the arsenal of antismoking messages but also provides a framework for assessment that can be applied to other health behaviors. The findings on the effects of smoking on Medicare and Medicaid will be surprising and perhaps controversial, for the authors estimate the costs to be much lower than the damage awards being paid to 46 states as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.

About the Authors

Frank Sloan, awarded the Victor R. Fuchs Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Health Economics in 2016, is J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Economics at Duke University. He is coauthor of The Price of Smoking (2004) and Medical Malpractice (2008) and coeditor of Incentives and Choices in Health Care (2008), all published by the MIT Press.

Jan Ostermann is a Research Associate at the Center for Health Policy, Law, and Management at Duke University.

Christopher Conover is Assistant Research Professor of Public Policy Studies and Director of the Health Policy Certificate Program at Duke University.

Gabriel Picone is Associate Professor of Economics at the College of Business Administration at the University of South Florida.


“[T]he book breaks new ground... to present the most comprehensive analysis yet of the cost of smoking.”—New England Journal of Medicine
“... It's important to understand... the public policy implications of Sloan's work.”—Chicago Sun-Times


“This book contains the most thorough examination yet of the social and economic consequences of smoking, providing evidence that will be useful to policymakers, litigators, advocates, and academics. Particularly important is the calculation of what Sloan and his colleagues call the 'quasi-external' costs - those that smokers impose on their spouses, children, and others in their household. These costs have too often been ignored or assumed away in previous economic research on the costs of smoking.”
Frank J. Chaloupka, Professor of Economics and director of the Health Policy Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
“This book contains the most thorough and penetrating analysis of the cost of smoking to date. It is certain to become a landmark in the field of health economics.”
Michael Grossman, Distinguished Professor of Economics, City University of New York Graduate Center, and National Bureau of Economic Research
“What is the price of smoking? The various ways that cigarettes affect the private lives of smokers and the public aspects of policy are revealed carefully and comprehensively by this team of sophisticated economists. Their results surprised me and they might surprise you.”
Steven A. Schroeder, Director, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California, San Francisco, and past president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
“The health consequences of smoking boost some financial costs to society and lower others. The Price of Smoking uses several new data sets to document these effects, which are analyzed on a lifetime basis. These analyses allow Sloan and his collaborators to provide the most detailed estimates to date of the cost implications of smoking for different government programs.”
W. Kip Viscusi, Cogan Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard Law School