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The mortality cost to smokers

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  • Viscusi, W. Kip
  • Hersch, Joni

Abstract

This article estimates the mortality cost of smoking using the first labor market estimates of the value of statistical life by smoking status. The value of statistical life is $7 million for both smokers and nonsmokers. Using this value in conjunction with the increase in the mortality risk over the life cycle due to smoking, the value of statistical life by age and gender, and information on the number of packs smoked over the life cycle, the private mortality cost of smoking is $222 per pack for men and $94 per pack for women in $2006, based on a 3% discount rate. At discount rates of 15% or more, the cost decreases to under $25 per pack.

Suggested Citation

  • Viscusi, W. Kip & Hersch, Joni, 2008. "The mortality cost to smokers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 943-958, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:943-958
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moore, Michael J & Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "The Quantity-Adjusted Value of Life," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 369-388, July.
    2. Frank A. Sloan & Jan Ostermann & Christopher Conover & Donald H. Taylor, Jr. & Gabriel Picone, 2006. "The Price of Smoking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693453, January.
    3. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2007. "Age Differences in the Value of Statistical Life: Revealed Preference Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 241-260, Summer.
    4. Hersch, Joni, 1998. "Compensating Differentials for Gender-Specific Job Injury Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 598-627, June.
    5. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-1946, December.
    6. Cutler, David M., 2002. "Health care and the public sector," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 31, pages 2143-2243 Elsevier.
    7. Leeth, John D & Ruser, John, 2003. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Fatal and Nonfatal Injury Risk by Gender and Race," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 257-277, December.
    8. W. Kip Viscusi, 1995. "Cigarette Taxation and the Social Consequences of Smoking," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 51-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
    10. Cutler, David M & Epstein, Arnold M. & Frank, Richard G. & Hartman, Raymond & King, Charles III & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Rosenthal, Meredith B. & Vigdor, Elizabeth Richardson, 2000. "How Good a Deal Was the Tobacco Settlement? Assessing Payments to Massachusetts," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 235-261, November.
    11. W. Kip Viscusi, 1994. "Mortality Effects of Regulatory Costs and Policy Evaluation Criteria," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 94-109, Spring.
    12. Black, Dan A & Kniesner, Thomas J, 2003. "On the Measurement of Job Risk in Hedonic Wage Models," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 205-220, December.
    13. Kniesner Thomas J & Viscusi W. Kip & Ziliak James P, 2006. "Life-Cycle Consumption and the Age-Adjusted Value of Life," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, January.
    14. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    15. John B. Shoven & Jeffrey O. Sundberg & John P. Bunker, 1989. "The Social Security Cost of Smoking," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Aging, pages 231-254 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kip Viscusi, W. & Aldy, Joseph E., 2007. "Labor market estimates of the senior discount for the value of statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 377-392, May.
    17. William N. Evans & Jeanne S. Ringel & Diana Stech, 1999. "Tobacco Taxes and Public Policy to Discourage Smoking," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13, pages 1-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
    19. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
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    21. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303.
    22. V. Kerry Smith & Mary F. Evans & Hyun Kim & Donald H. Taylor, 2004. "Do the Near-Elderly Value Mortality Risks Differently?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 423-429, February.
    23. Donald S. Shepard & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1984. "Survival versus Consumption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 423-439, April.
    24. Alan Krupnick, 2007. "Mortality-risk Valuation and Age: Stated Preference Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 261-282, Summer.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. W. Viscusi, 2008. "How to value a life," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 32(4), pages 311-323, October.
    2. Aldy, Joseph E. & Smyth, Seamus J., 2014. "Heterogeneity in the Value of Life," Discussion Papers dp-14-13, Resources For the Future.
    3. 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.
    4. W. Viscusi & Elissa Gentry, 2015. "The value of a statistical life for transportation regulations: A test of the benefits transfer methodology," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 53-77, August.
    5. Trudy Cameron & J. DeShazo & Peter Stiffler, 2010. "Demand for health risk reductions: A cross-national comparison between the U.S. and Canada," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 245-273, December.
    6. Annette Hofmann & Martin Nell, 2012. "Smoking bans and the secondhand smoking problem: an economic analysis," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(3), pages 227-236, June.
    7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2012:i:1:p:53-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Christine Le CLAINCHE & Jerome WITTWER, 2012. "Risky Behaviours and Responsibility-Sensitive Fairness in a Non Life-Threatening Health Case: A European Study," Working Papers 12-18, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2012.
    9. Gospodinov, Nikolay & Irvine, Ian, 2009. "Tobacco taxes and regressivity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 375-384, March.
    10. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0852-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sunday Azagba & Mesbah Sharaf & Christina Xiao Liu, 2013. "Disparities in health care utilization by smoking status in Canada," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(6), pages 913-925, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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