A UCSF report released yesterday showed the incredible impact of the state's anti-smoking program. At a cost of $1.8 billion over 15 years starting in 1989 the program saved some $84 billion in health care costs by preventing some 3.6 billion packs being smoked.
What seems to be to be the blockbuster of this study is not the effectiveness of anti-smoking marketing. Rather, it's the fact that 3.6 billion packs--at an average cost of $4 a pack--has a hidden cost to the taxpayer of roughly $23 for each pack. Or, to put it another way, every time you see someone buy a pack of cigarettes, think of it like you're subsidizing over 85% of the total cost through increased taxes, health care premiums, and drug costs.
Point, set, match.