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Books, Journals, New Media
July 13, 2005

Smoking Costs

Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2005;294(2):254-255. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.254

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.