The Effect of Smoking on Kentucky’s Workforce

Smoking has been estimated to increase health care costs in the United States by $167.5 billion annually (Xu et al. 2015). In Kentucky, smoking adds $2.5 billion in health care expenditures each year. Most of these costs were paid by public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. While these costs are significant, they represent only a portion of the costs that smoking imposes on society. Smoking also leads to poorer labor market outcomes. Smokers are more likely to be unemployed, earn lower wages, and die prematurely than non-smokers. These negative labor market effects reduce economic activity and lower tax revenues, adding to the social costs and fiscal impact that smoking imposes.


PDF icon UK CBER The Effect of Smoking on Kentucky's Labor Market.pdf