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Smokers Costing Taxpayers $16 Billion A Year

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A U.C. San Francisco study says smoking costs California taxpayers about $16 billion a year. That´s despite the fact that the number of smokers continues to decline.

The study says there are 4.7 million people in the state who smoke – and 43,000 smokers die every year as a result of their addiction.

The study says health care costs related to smoking are about $3,000 a smoker – or $500 for every resident.

UCSF Professor Wendy Max supports hiking the tax on cigarettes. She says that if health care costs were passed on to smokers, you´d have to raise the price of each pack of butts by eleven dollars.

She says it´s unlikely that will happen – but thinks raising the price of cigarettes by a dollar a pack would be useful.