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Report: Minnesota among top 10 most expensive states for smokers

The lifetime cost of smoking in Minnesota is more than $1.9 million, including out-of-pocket expenses and hypothetical costs due to lost financial opportunity and income, according to a report by WalletHub. (photo by Debora Cartagena)

A new report ranks Minnesota among the most expensive states for smokers in cost per year and over a lifetime.

Minnesota placed 44th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in total cost per smoker in both categories when adding out-of-pocket expenses as well as the hypothetical loss of financial opportunity, health care costs, income loss and other costs, according to the report by WalletHub released this month.

LINK: The Real Cost of Smoking by State

The report ranked states in ascending order from lowest to highest costs based on an adult who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day starting at age 18 and continues until age 69.

Wisconsin fared somewhat cheaper than Minnesota, at 37th for costs per year and over a lifetime.

Source: WalletHub

Findings of the report include:

•The cost per year to smoke in Minnesota is $37,349. The largest chunk of the sum, $25,396, is what a smoker could have made investing out-of-pocket smoking costs in the stock market over the same period. The calculation used the historical average market return rate for the S&P 500 minus inflation.

•The yearly out-of-pocket cost to smoke in Minnesota is around $3,015. The cost in Wisconsin is $2,679.

•Lifetime smoking costs for a Minnesotan are estimated at just over $1.9 million — including $191,621 in health care costs, based on state-level data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

•Yearly income loss for a Wisconsin smoker is $4,269. Analysts said they based the amount on a recent Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta study that found smokers earn 20 percent less than nonsmokers.

The states with the lowest smoking costs are located mostly in the south, with Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia taking the top-three spots in yearly and lifetime costs. North Dakota placed seventh in both categories.

The most costly state for smokers is New York. The estimated yearly cost of smoking in the Empire State is $45,353 and the lifetime cost is more than $2.3 million, according to the report.

WalletHub analysts conducted the study to encourage tobacco users to quit, according to the report website. WalletHub is a personal finance website based in Washington, D.C.

By the numbers...

300 billion — The estimated economic cost in dollars of smoking in the United States each year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults.

15.1 — Percentage of U.S. adults aged 18 and older who were current cigarette smokers in 2015.

480,000 — Number of deaths per year in the country attributed to smoking.

10 — The average number of years smokers die earlier than nonsmokers.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Fast Facts" for smoking and tobacco use.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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