Tobacco use is costing Indiana taxpayers, healthcare providers and employers billions of dollars each year, according to a new report from the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. According to the report, costs associated with tobacco use total $6.8 billion, which includes health care and lost productivity costs.
Paul Halverson, dean of the school of public health and lead author of the report, spoke with Side Effects about why the costs are so high and what can be done to reduce them. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What costs go into into that $6.8 billion?
Healthcare costs related to smoking were about $2.9 billion in 2009 dollars, and that doesn't include $1.3 billion in health care costs that are related to secondhand smoke. And then...