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.