Study examines disparities in healthcare costs and outcomes of cigarette smoking in the United States

Dec. 11, 2023
Findings inform distributional cost-benefit analyses for tobacco control policies and related research.

In research to examine racial and ethnic disparities in the medical costs of smoking in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that adults from some racial and ethnic populations benefit substantially more than others from tobacco control policies.

The research, published in the journal Tobacco Control, helps inform such analyses and will benefit other research in this area.

The study shows that even though adults in specific racial and ethnic populations have a lower ever-smoked rate than White adults and make more attempts to quit, their medical spending associated with smoking was twice as high, with a 41% higher rate of having multiple chronic conditions associated with smoking.

HHS release