Butte County taxpayers bear the burden of smoking costs

Jan 21, 2015 2:49 PM by News Staff

Butte County residents are paying $829 per year in smoking related costs, well above the state average, county health officials announced Wednesday.

Citing a study done by the University of California San Francisco, the county said the $829 Butte County taxpayers cough up each year, is compared to the $487 state average.

Smoking related costs pertain to the cost of treating any smoking-related illness such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. Calculations for indirect costs of smoking include lost productivity due to illness and premature death.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in California, with more than 34,000 Californians dying prematurely each year. In 2009 alone, smoking killed 403 Butte County residents and 366 Shasta County residents.

Butte County Health Officer Dr. Mark Lundberg says a higher smoking prevalence in Butte County may be the cause of higher costs compared to the statewide average. Butte County's adult smoking prevalence is currently around 18%, compared with 12% for California overall.

Despite the high cost of smoking to taxpayers, Butte County received failing grades in the American Lung Association's latest tobacco control report for not doing more to reduce tobacco use.


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