When it comes to getting cigarette smokers to give up the habit, just about everything has been tried.
There are ghosts of smokers past, talking in public service announcements after their deaths from lung cancer. There are those disgusting pictures of autopsied lungs replete with the disease. And there is the old standby of shame.
Now the Florida Department of Health wants smokers to consider their pocketbook and how much their habit is costing them.
Gov. Rick Scott proclaimed this week Tobacco Free Florida Week and his Health Department says a pack-a-day smoker in Florida can spend more than $2,000 in just one year and more than $10,000 in five years.
“We often discuss the physical and health consequences of tobacco. This Tobacco Free Florida Week, we also recognize the emotional and financial toll that addiction can take on tobacco users and their loved ones,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip.
“Pack-a-day smokers in Florida can save more than $2,000 per year if they quit. They can also live longer and more fulfilling lives.”
The costs go beyond just that for a pack of smokes. Sick smokers incur significant costs of course through treatment and hospitalization.
The Health Departments says the reduction in adult smoking rates from 2007 to 2015 resulted in approximately $17.7 billion in savings in cumulative smoking-related health care costs.
About 30 percent of cancer deaths in Florida are caused by cigarette smoking.
(Featured image by Mark Sebastian, Creative Commons)