Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Price of Smoking, by Frank Sloan and colleagues,
considers the costs of smoking to the individual, government, and society.
The topic has received considerable attention in books and articles, but this
book adds new and important findings.
The authors’ examination of costs is more comprehensive and, arguably,
more rigorous than prior studies. Most studies have estimated costs at a single
point in time for different demographic groups—ie, prevalence estimates.
Sloan et al instead consider costs over the individual’s life cycle—ie,
incidence measures. These measures are especially relevant, since smoking
behaviors are almost always initiated early in life but have health implications
at later points. In deriving their cost estimates, the authors are also careful
to consider other lifestyle factors that may affect smoking.
Levy DT. Smoking Costs. JAMA. 2005;294(2):254-255. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.254