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Article
March 17, 1989

The Taxes of SinDo Smokers and Drinkers Pay Their Way?

Author Affiliations

From The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Dr Manning); The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif (Drs Manning, Keeler, Newhouse, Sloss, and Wasserman); the Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass (Dr Newhouse); and SysteMetrics/McGraw-Hill, Santa Barbara, Calif (Dr Wasserman).

From The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Dr Manning); The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif (Drs Manning, Keeler, Newhouse, Sloss, and Wasserman); the Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass (Dr Newhouse); and SysteMetrics/McGraw-Hill, Santa Barbara, Calif (Dr Wasserman).

JAMA. 1989;261(11):1604-1609. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420110080028
Abstract

We estimate the lifetime, discounted costs that smokers and drinkers impose on others through collectively financed health insurance, pensions, disability insurance, group life insurance, fires, motor-vehicle accidents, and the criminal justice system. Although nonsmokers subsidize smokers' medical care and group life insurance, smokers subsidize nonsmokers' pensions and nursing home payments. On balance, smokers probably pay their way at the current level of excise taxes on cigarettes; but one may, nonetheless, wish to raise those taxes to reduce the number of adolescent smokers. In contrast, drinkers do not pay their way: current excise taxes on alcohol cover only about half the costs imposed on others.

(JAMA. 1989;261:1604-1609)

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