Report Finds Tobacco-Related Health Problems, Lost Productivity Cost State $4.6B Annually

UW-Milwaukee Report Finds Health Costs Alone Amount To $3B

Photo: Kazukichi (CC-BY-NC-ND).

A new report says tobacco-related health problems and lost productivity cost the state of Wisconsin $4.6 billion annually.

The Burden of Tobacco Report says $3 billion is spent on various health costs, including lung cancer and heart attacks.

“Eighty percent of all lung cancer deaths and 14 percent of all heart attacks in this state can be attributed to tobacco use,” said Sara Sahli of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The report, prepared by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, said lost productivity accounts for another $1.6 billion in costs.

In December, state health officials reported adult smoking dropped to its lowest rate ever: 18 percent. But anti-tobacco advocates say Wisconsin can do better. Right now it spends only 9 percent of what the Centers for Disease Control recommends for tobacco cessation and prevention.