Smoking costs Indiana billions in productivity, health care

June 12, 2012 By Marc Ransford

(Medical Xpress) -- As Indiana prepares for a statewide smoking ban on July 1, a new study from Ball State University finds that 21.2 percent of Hoosiers admit to regularly lighting up a cigarette, a habit costing the state nearly $2.6 billion in productivity losses and $2.2 billion in health care costs each year.

"Burden of Smoking among Adults in Indiana," a report by Ball State's Global Health Institute (GHI) based on 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ranks the state 42nd worst in terms of percentage of population among the 50 states and District of Columbia.

"We have known for decades that smoking is counterproductive for our health and plays a major role for the spiraling costs facing both employees and their employers," said Kerry Anne McGeary, GHI director and Phyllis A. Miller professor of health economics. "When combined with our reports on obesity and asthma, on average Hoosiers have health issues and engage in health behaviors that put them at risk for future health conditions."

She pointed out that on average, about 9,700 deaths per year in Indiana are attributable to smoking while the habit is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for one in five deaths or about 443,000 each year.

"Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung disease — ailments that are preventable simply by not lighting up in the first place," McGeary said. "Smoking kills half of its users. About one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco. This data sends a clear message to smokers that they are involved in a very dangerous habit."

The study also found:

• About 23.3 percent of males are currently smoking as compared to 19.3 of women.

• Adults older than 65 have the lowest smoking rate at 8 percent as compared to adults 18-24 years old at 21.2 percent; 25-44 years old at 26.1 percent; and 45-64 years old at 22.6 percent.

• About 30.1 percent of black adults regularly smoke as compared to 20.6 percent of white adults and 16.8 percent of Hispanic adults.

• Smoking rates decrease as income increases. Smokers make up 39.4 percent with household incomes of less than $15,000, 30.9 percent with household incomes of $15,000-$24,999; 24.2 percent with household incomes of $25,000-$49,999; 16.6 percent with household incomes of $50,000-$74,999; and 11.1 percent with household incomes of more than $75,000.

Smoking rates also decrease as education levels increase. About 35.1 percent with less than a high school education are smokers as compared to 25.3 percent of with a high school education, 24.8 percent with some college education, and 8.9 percent with a college education.

McGeary attributes anti-smoking policies as well as a combination of new tobacco taxes, anti-smoking campaigns and indoor clean air acts in playing a role in reducing the number of people taking up the habit.

The report found that percentage of current smokers in Indiana has dropped from about 29 percent in 1996 to 21.2 percent in 2010. About 60 percent of Hoosiers who smoke have tried to quit at least once, tying the national rate. In 1994, about 42 percent of Hoosiers tried to quit as compared to slightly more than 45 percent across the country.

"Smoking is a, dangerous that may be costly to everyone," McGeary said. "More and more people are seeking help to quit. The goal should always be to improve among smokers. The largest marginal benefit can be achieved by quitting smoking.  "

The statewide ban, passed by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2012 session, prohibits inside a business — with exceptions for bars and casinos, among others — and within 8 feet of an entrance. Municipalities and businesses across the state can enact stronger smoke-free policies but starting July 1, no tobacco policy can be less restrictive.

Explore further: Diabetes among Indiana adults increasing at alarming rate

Related Stories

Diabetes among Indiana adults increasing at alarming rate

December 9, 2011
The number of Hoosiers diagnosed with diabetes is rising at an alarming rate, jumping from 3.8 percent of the state's population in 1993 to 9.8 percent today, says a new report from Ball State University. Burden of Diabetes ...

Save $3,300 per year by not smoking

November 9, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- The United States is winning the war against smoking. More than 3 million Americans quit smoking every year and fewer are adopting the unhealthy and expensive habit.

CDC: Fewer smokers go to the dentist

February 7, 2012
Smokers not only have more problems with their teeth than non-smokers, they also go to the dentist less often.

World 'no tobacco day' puts spotlight on dangers of smoking

May 25, 2012
It’s not just smokers who are at-risk when it comes to tobacco smoke exposure—and the health concerns of smoking cigarettes are not limited to the most known consequence: lung cancer. 

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.