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Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Economic Costs—United States, 1995–1999

April 12, 2002 / Vol. 51 / No. 14

MMWR Highlights

  • Cigarette smoking continues to be a leading cause of death in the Unites States, and imposes substantial measurable costs to society. From 1995–1999, smoking killed over 440,000 people in the United States each year.
  • Each pack of cigarettes sold in the United States costs the nation an estimated $7.18 in medical care costs and lost productivity.
  • Estimates show that smoking caused over $150 billion in annual health-related economic losses from 1995 to 1999 including $81.9 billion in mortality-related productivity losses (average for 1995–1999) and $75.5 billion in excess medical expenditures in 1998.
  • The economic costs of smoking are estimated to be about $3,391 per smoker per year.
  • Smoking caused an estimated 264,087 male and 178, 311 female deaths in the United States each year from 1995 to 1999.
  • Among adults, the study estimates that most deaths were from lung cancer (124,813), ischemic heart disease (81,976) and chronic airway obstruction (64,735).
  • Excluding adult deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke, adult males and females lost an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively, because they smoked.
  • Smoking during pregnancy resulted in an estimated 599 male infant and 408 female infant deaths annually.
  • For men, the average number of annual smoking-attributable cancer and cardiovascular disease deaths in 1995–1999 fell while the number of respiratory disease deaths remained stable.
  • For women, the average number of annual smoking-attributable cancer and respiratory disease deaths in 1995–1999 rose while the number of cardiovascular deaths fell.
  • Smoking–attributable neonatal expenditures were estimated at $366 million in 1996 or $704 per maternal smoker.
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