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New Reports: Strong State Tobacco Control Policies Could Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives and Billions of Dollars in Health Care Costs

Comprehensive Smoke-Free Laws and Tobacco Tax Increases Could Reduce the Number of Smokers by 2.5 Million, Avert Nearly 2 Million Deaths, and Save Nearly $2 Billion in Health Care Costs

Two new reports from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released today measure the dramatic health and economic benefits of implementing strong tobacco control policies in the states. The results provide new evidence that comprehensive smoke-free laws and increased tobacco taxes have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in health care costs.

“Tobacco is the only legal product that kills when used as directed, and it costs billions of dollars in health care spending,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of ACS CAN. “We now have concrete evidence that enacting comprehensive smoke-free laws and increasing state tobacco taxes can save millions of lives, prevent smokers from picking up the habit and save states significant dollars in health spending. Strong state tobacco control policies aren’t just a good idea in stemming the tide of the tobacco pandemic – they’re a necessity.”

The state of Hawaii passed a comprehensive smoke-free law that protects workers throughout the state from exposure to secondhand smoke. The law took effect on November 16, 2006–the same day as The Great American Smokeout.

State-by-state report on the health and economic impact of tobacco taxes (Hawaii data on page 20)  SmokeFreeReport2011 ImpactOfTobaccoTax

State-by-state report on the health and economic impact of comprehensive smoke-free laws (Hawaii information on page 21)  SmokeFreeReport2011 SmokeFreeLaws