NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Mortality Cost to Smokers

W. Kip Viscusi, Joni Hersch

NBER Working Paper No. 13599
Issued in November 2007
NBER Program(s):   HE   LE   LS

This article estimates the mortality cost of smoking based on the first labor market estimates of the value of statistical life by smoking status. Using these values in conjunction with the increase in the mortality risk over the life cycle due to smoking, the value of statistical life by age and gender, and information on the number of packs smoked over the life cycle, produces an estimate of the private mortality cost of smoking of $222 per pack for men and $94 per pack for women in 2006 dollars, based on a 3 percent discount rate. At discount rates of 15 percent or more, the cost decreases to under $25 per pack.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13599

Published: Viscusi, W. Kip & Hersch, Joni, 2008. "The mortality cost to smokers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 943-958, July.

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