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Cost of Smoking in California Report Released

Every ten years, the Cost of Smoking in California report, completed by the University of California San Francisco, analyzes the economic burden of smoking and illustrates the costs associated with smoking-related illnesses and premature death. Tobacco use is still a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and California, with more than 34,000 Californians dying prematurely each year. In addition to the loss of life, smoking-related illness leads to substantial health costs and lost productivity. The newly released study found the overall cost of smoking for California in 2009 was $18.1 billion. Included in this figure are the direct healthcare costs, such as hospital and ambulatory costs, as well as indirect costs from lost productivity due to illness and premature death.

Though this dollar amount is staggering, it does not take into account the untold emotional impact to family members and friends. Smoking remains incredibly costly to us all. In Colusa County, the total cost of smoking is over 13 million dollars. This equates to over 6 hundred dollars per Colusa County resident and nearly 5 thousand dollars per smoker. While the cost of smoking is lower than many neighboring counties, 16% of Colusa County residents continue to smoke including 6% of youth aged 12-17. This can lead to a lifelong tobacco addiction that will take years from their life and impose additional costs for families and the community.

While the price tag for smoking continues to increase due to inflation and the rising cost of healthcare, considerable efforts have been made. This includes cutting the smoking rate in California by 50 percent over the last two decades. To view the Cost of Smoking in California report, including additional data specific to Colusa County, visit the Tobacco Education page on the Colusa County Public Health website at www.countyofcolusa.org/publichealth.

For more information regarding the Colusa County Tobacco Education Program, please call 530-458-0380 or send a message to TEP@colusadhhs.org.P

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The Williams Pioneer Review has a small staff of one, covering all of Colusa County; but we’re proud to have the assistance of a large army of community contributors to extend our range and reach. This is one of those stories. If you have a story you would like to share, please email them to: news@colusacountynews.com or give us a call.

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