The mortality cost to smokers

  • Viscusi W
  • Hersch J
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Abstract

This article estimates the mortality cost of smoking using the first labor market estimates of the value of statistical life by smoking status. The value of statistical life is $7 million for both smokers and nonsmokers. Using this value in conjunction with the increase in the mortality risk over the life cycle due to smoking, the value of statistical life by age and gender, and information on the number of packs smoked over the life cycle, the private mortality cost of smoking is $222 per pack for men and $94 per pack for women in $2006, based on a 3% discount rate. At discount rates of 15% or more, the cost decreases to under $25 per pack. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cigarettes
  • Mortality cost
  • Smoking
  • Value of statistical life

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