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The Governmental Composition of the Insurance Costs of Smoking

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  • Viscusi, W Kip

Abstract

The estimated health risks from smoking have significant external financial consequences for society. Studies at the national level indicate that cigarettes are self-financing since external costs such as those due to illnesses are offset by cost savings associated with premature death, chiefly pension costs. This paper extends this analysis to all 50 states and considers the costs considered in the state attorneys general suits against the cigarette industry. Cigarettes are always self-financing from the standpoint of costs to each state. The extent of the cost savings is less than at the federal level. However, smokers' higher medical costs are outweighed by reduced nursing home expenditures, lower pension costs, and excise taxes, where each of these factors alone usually exceeds the medical cost effect. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 575-609

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:42:y:1999:i:2:p:575-609

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Dan Usher, 1999. "Personal Goods, Efficiency and the Law," Working Papers 985, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber & Raymond S. Hartman & Mary Beth Landrum & Joseph P. Newhouse & Meredith B. Rosenthal, 2002. "The Economic impacts of the tobacco settlement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 1-19.
  3. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 266-277.
  4. David M. Cutler & Arnold M. Epstein & Richard G. Frank & Raymond Hartman & Charles King III & Joseph P. Newhouse & Meredith B. Rosenthal & Elizabeth Richardson Vigdor, 2000. "How Good a Deal Was the Tobacco Settlement?: Assessing Payments to Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 7747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mariana Conte Grand, 2005. "Reestimación y actualización del costo económico en Argentina de la mortalidad atribuible al tabaco en adultos," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 305, Universidad del CEMA.
  6. Mariana Conte Grand & Pablo Perel & Raúl Pitarque & Gustavo Sánchez, 2003. "Estimación del costo económico en Argentina de la mortalidad atribuible al tabaco en adultos," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 253, Universidad del CEMA.
  7. Frank A. Sloan & Justin G. Trogdon, 2004. "Litigation and the Political Clout of the Tobacco Companies: Cigarette Taxes, Prices, and the Master Settlement Agreement," HEW 0411002, EconWPA.
  8. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2010. "Tobacco Regulation through Litigation: The Master Settlement Agreement," NBER Chapters, in: Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pages 71-101 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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