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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Jul-Aug;46(1):39-78.

The economics of smoking and cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.


The direct medical cost of cardiovascular and circulatory diseases was $151 billion in 1995, approximately 17% of all direct medical care costs in the United States. Incidence and prevalence based estimates indicate that smoking is a major contributing factor for cardiovascular disease and associated costs. Statewide smoking control programs and workplace and public area smoking bans are effective in reducing smoking prevalence. Smoking cessation therapies are very cost-effective interventions for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Incidence based estimates indicate that smoking cessation control expenditures in the United States have been a cost effective method for reducing the direct medical costs of cardiovascular disease in the past, and may be cost saving in the future. The expected cost of producing an additional ex-smoker has been estimated to be approximately $1,000 to $1,500. Most or all of this cost can be recovered in the short run from savings in avoided heart attacks and strokes alone in healthy quitters. Observational studies of the direct medical costs following cessation in those observed to quit show a reduction utilization, but which may occur only after a lag of three to five years.

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