Smoking Costs

Tobacco smoking is believed to have begun in the early 5000 BC, whereas the practice has been widely followed with time. Smoking has brought about severe health issues like lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and heart disease, among conditions (Prochaska and Benowitz 506). Both active and passive smokers are exposed to a risk of getting these diseases. Tobacco companies have continued to promote their products to the general public despite the health hazards involved, thus subjecting themselves to legally compensating the government for the health costs incurred from smoking (Levy et al. 56).

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The five largest tobacco industries compensate the government by paying $9 billion yearly in the US (Savedoff and Alwang 7). The settlement is meant to reimburse the states for the costs of smoking-related diseases, while also supporting other services for low-income people served by the state Medicaid programs. Additionally, in the case of the Ontario government against tobacco manufactures, the government won a $50-billion lawsuit (Zivulovic). It was proven that the tobacco firms were responsible for the high mortality rate in the state, which cost the government an estimated $1.6 billion annually (R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.).

In conclusion, the government can control the rising mortality rates resulting from smoking by taking actions to supervise tobacco manufacturers. This can be achieved by imposing effective tax fees on tobacco companies, thus increasing tobacco prices. Eventually, this will discourage most people from smoking. Tobacco firms are partly liable for the health costs that are brought about by tobacco consumption; hence, they should settle for them.

 

Works Cited

Levy, Helen, et al. Tobacco Regulation and Cost-Benefit Analysis: How Should We Value Foregone Consumer Surplus? National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016.

Prochaska, Judith J., and Neil L. Benowitz. “Smoking Cessation and the Cardiovascular Patient.” Current Opinion in Cardiology, vol. 30, no. 5, 2015, pp.506-511.

Savedoff, William, and Albert Alwang. The Best Policy in the World: Tobacco Taxes. Center for Global Development, 2015.

  1. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2011 SCC 42, [2011] 3 S.C.R.45

Zivulovic, Srdjan. “Appeal Gives Go-Ahead to Ontario’s $50 Billion Law Suit against Big Tobacco Companies.” The Canadian Press, 2013, https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/appeal-court-gives-go-ahead-to-ontarios-50-billion-lawsuit-against-big-tobacco-companies. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.