Costs of smoking: a focus on maternal, childhood, and other short-run costs.
Estimating the costs attributable to smoking is helpful for evaluating appropriate tax policy, informing both public and private managers of health care, and evaluating alternative smoking cessation programs. While the smoking-attributable costs of chronic conditions have been well studied, these costs are less relevant to health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and employers whose populations are younger and transient. Costs incurred in the short run, such as those related to smoking during pregnancy and environmental tobacco smoke exposure (ETS) of children, are more relevant. In this article, the authors review studies of these sources of smoking-attributable costs as well as studies that focus on smoking-attributable outcomes and costs from the employer or HMO perspective. Subsidies may be necessary to induce employers to recognize the full social benefits of smoking cessation programs.
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