Americans Giving Up Smoking Can Cut The Country's Healthcare Spending By $63 Billion
by Samantha Finch
May 19, 2016
Source Parent Herald
Americans giving up smoking can decrease the country's health care costs. A new study found that the U.S. are facing billions off of its medical spending if the people would be willing to stay away from cigarettes.
According to the study, the U.S. will save $63 billion from its health care spending if 10 percent of American smokers gave up their habits and other users cut back smoking by 10 percent, Reuters reported. That projected savings will be seen by next year.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden told Reuters that tobacco-control has huge benefits not just to people's health but also to a country's economy. According to Frieden, the U.S. should invest in tobacco-control because it will save money and people's lives.
The study's authors took note of Arizona and California, states which reduced their health care spending after people gave up cigarettes. Smokers who quit their habits have lower risks of experiencing heart and asthma attacks in a month. Pregnant women who quit smoking have high chances of giving birth to healthy babies as opposed to those who indulge in cigarettes, according to Stanton Glantz, the analysis' co-author.
In California, $15.4 billion was saved on health care costs in 2009 when people quit smoking. People in Kentucky, meanwhile, spent $1.7 billion more in health care because its residents smoke cigarettes more.
The U.S. Surgeon General first attributed lung cancer to smoking in 1964, a time when there are 43 percent of American adult smokers. Now, only 18 percent of adult Americans indulge in cigarettes habitually.
Some of the measures the country has developed for tobacco-control are increasing cigarette taxes, forming smoke-free environments, helping smokers quit the habit and producing aggressive anti-smoking advertisements, Reuters listed. Frieden said the tobacco industry fights these measures by spending millions of dollars per hour to entice people to use its products.
Smoking, considered as the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., kills over 480,000 Americans annually. Thousands of young people also smoke every day.
Huge Health Care Costs
The U.S.' health care spending takes up 17 percent of the country's gross domestic product, HealthPayerIntelligence.com wrote. Some people think health care spending in the nation is too high, but a brief from the National Center for Policy Analysis argued that health care spending is not a burden on the U.S. economy.
According to the report, the U.S.' universal health care coverage gives people access to an affordable medical care system. Also, health care spending shouldn't be a problem for Americans because the U.S. has a higher national income than other countries.