September 1, 2005
More than 31% of California construction workers smoke so the cost of disease and death caused by tobacco has a large impact on your Health and Welfare Fund. Tobacco also affects non-smokers because secondhand smoke causes disease and death. A recent study sponsored by life insurance companies showed that the price tag for secondhand smoke is nearly $10 billion per year!
Direct medical costs for diseases caused by secondhand smoke total nearly $5 billion:
*** Cancer: $205 million
*** Respiratory problems: over $2 billion
*** Heart disease: nearly $2.5 billion
*** Birth problems $284 million
The economic impact of lost wages and benefits total more than $4.6 billion and include:
*** Cancer: $579 million
*** Respiratory problems: over $1 billion
*** Heart disease: over $2.7 billion
The good news is that smoke-free worksites and homes reduce the impact of secondhand smoke. The medical costs for smokers is estimated at $150 billion, so while the expense of secondhand smoke is much less, it's still a substantial burden in dollars and human suffering.
If you smoke you aren't just hurting yourself. If you can't quit, protect those around you. If you want to quit call the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS. You can do it!
Source: Society of Actuaries, News Release, August 17, 2005