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Study: Secondhand smoke costs U.S. billions

The effects of secondhand smoke in the United States cost nearly $10 billion every year, according to a study released Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

The effects of secondhand smoke in the United States cost nearly $10 billion every year, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Society of Actuaries said that the direct costs of secondhand smoke exposure are $4.98 billion, including expenses related to the treatment of heart disease, chronic pulmonary disease, lung cancer, asthma and other sicknesses.

The study also detailed indirect costs of $4.68 billion, stemming from lost wages, reduced services and costs associated with disabilities.

“While the health effects of secondhand smoke are reduced in comparison to active smoking, the number of people exposed is so large that the costs are substantial,” Society of Actuaries fellow Donald Behan said in a statement.

The group measured the costs by examining more than 200 studies that have been published since 1964 on the effects of environmental tobacco smoke.