Study Documents Economic Burden Of Secondhand Smoke On Indiana

In State News on April 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

According to a study by Bowen Research Center — Indiana University School of Medicne, secondhand smoke costs Indiana $390.3 million in excess medical expenses, or about $62 per person each year. The burden of these expenses is assumed by businesses, government, and individual citizens. As daunting as the amount appears, it does not include costs of health care and loss of life of Indiana residents that smoke, which alone is estimated to be over $2 billion.

  • Total health care costs attributable to secondhand smoke = $282.5 million
  • Total loss of life costs attributable to secondhand smoke = $107.8 million
  • Overall cost of health care and premature loss of life attributed to secondhand smoke for Indiana residents in 2007 = $390.3 million

Exposure to secondhand smoke causes many medical conditions in adults, including lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ischemic heart disease, stroke, eye and nasal irritation, spontaneous abortions and asthma. In addition, other studies have suggested that exposure to secondhand smoke may be causally associated with adult leukemia, angina pectoris (severe chest pain), hearing loss, allergies, periodontal disease, dysmenorrhea (severe pelvic pain during menstruation), colds, pneumonia, meningitis, macular degeneration, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

Scientific evidence confirms that there is no safe, risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Exposure of children to secondhand smoke has been linked to low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis (RSV), asthma exacerbations, otitis media (middle ear infections), chronic respiratory symptoms, cystic fibrosis exacerbation, allergies, meningitis, loss of hearing and cognitive behavioral impairment. In addition, many adults and children are injured in fires started by smoking.

At least 1,194 adults, children and infants in Indiana died in 2007 from diseases definitively tied to secondhand smoke by the U.S. Surgeon General (not including approximately 49 spontaneous abortions). These lives lost are entirely preventable.

The full report is accessible here:


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