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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Wed 24 Nov 2004

Cost of smoking may be quite high - S$66/pack over a lifetime

Category : world

The health damage from smoking is undeniable. Take a look at these factsheets from the US Surgeon-General's 2004 report.

The benefits of quitting are considerable. After quitting, the ex-smoker is assured of: lower heart rates within 20 minutes, normalised blood carbon monoxide levels in 12 hours, a lower risk of heart attack and improved lung function in 2 weeks to three months, decreased coughing and shortness of breath in 1 - 9 months and added risk added of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50%. There is more.

Still, many are unimpressed and hopefully cost will be a more persuasive argument.

Richard Lam wrote in to Today suggesting raising taxes to make cigarettes cost $30 in SIngapore. In the US at least, smokers are already paying a much higher cost.

In "The Price of Smoking," just published (Nov 2004), Duke University's health economists analysed all the costs of smoking - personally, to the smoker's family and to society at large. They concluded that the costs incurred over a lifetime of smoking amounts to nearly US$40 (=S$66) per pack.

'E.g. The cost of a 24-year-old smoker over 60 years was US$220,000 (=S$361,517.20, for men) or US$106,000 (S$174,155.03, women) - the figures include expenses for cigarettes and excise taxes, for life and property insurance, medical care for the smoker and for the smokeršs family, and lost earnings due to disability. Incidental costs such as higher cleaning bills and lower resale values on smoky cars were not included.'

The authors said, "It will be necessary for persons aged 24 and younger to face the fact that the decision to smoke is a very costly one -- one of the most costly decisions they make."

Press release here. First seen on the Science blog.

Posted at 4:11AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .