April 13, 2015
“The game-changing potential for dramatic harm reduction by current smokers using e-cigs will flow directly into lower healthcare costs dealing with the morbidity and mortality stemming from smoking combustible cigarettes.” J. Scott Moody
Can we talk? Let’s talk dollars. Taxpayer’s dollars. A l o t of dollars. Yours. And mine.
J. Scott Moody recently published an analysis of the potential savings, nationwide, in Medicaid expenditures, IF e-cigarettes replaced combustible tobacco cigarettes. $48 billion dollars. Every year.
I don’t know about you but I have trouble getting my head around $48 billion dollars. Moody gives us a little help in putting that into perspective:
- Cigarette tax collections in 2012, for all 50 states combined, totaled $24.4 billion.
- Replace analogs with e-cigs and the revenue gained in Medicaid healthcare cost savings would exceed cigarette tax revenues by 87%.
- Moody concludes “…given the long-term fiscal challenges facing Medicaid, the prospect of large e-cigs cost savings is worth a non-interventionist approach [emphasis added] until hard evidence proves otherwise.”
- Out of a total enrollment in the U.S. Medicaid system of 68 million, 36 million are smokers. That’s just under 53% of all Medicaid participants.
But that’s just the beginning of the story. A 2009 study estimated the two major costs associated with smoking – lost productivity (as the result of time off work or premature death) and healthcare costs.
The cost to the U.S. economy of lost productivity in 2009 – $185 billion.
The cost of additional smoking related healthcare – $116 billion.
In one year, smoking cost U.S. taxpayers $301 billion.
The potential Medicaid savings in smoking related costs would exceed the total of tobacco tax revenues AND tobacco settlement payments in 45 out of 50 states.
Electronic cigarettes have the potential to be the greatest public health innovation in 100 years. Electronic cigarettes have the potential to add $300 billion (or more) back into the U.S. economy every year. And that’s just from savings in a single federally funded program. Electronic cigarettes have the potential to reduce smoking related deaths by a conservative estimate of 50%.
If the blindly ideological, scientifically bankrupt, morally indefensible propaganda being offered by the anti-tobacco extremists in public health and politics is successful, the economic toll will be unimaginably high. And one billion people worldwide will lose their lives in the 21st century from smoking.
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning. Anybody can start today and make a new ending.
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Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.