Reducing tobacco use benefits the economy and overall health outcomes
Smokers have rights, but secondhand smoke in public infringes on nonsmokers’ rights not to smoke and harms overall public health. Business want healthy, productive workforces, so site selectors consider smokefree policies when determining areas for business expansion or relocation. Smokefree laws enhance economic potential.
- Smoking is Oklahoma’s top cause of premature death. It has the 4th highest smoking rate in the U.S.
- There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke kills 700 Oklahomans a year.
- Reducing exposure to tobacco decreases the likelihood of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
- Following enactment of smokefree public places laws, heart attack rates dropped by 41% in Pueblo, Colo., 40% in Helena, Mont., 50% in Indiana, and 20% in Ohio.
- Dozens of economic studies have shown businesses are unharmed by smokefree laws. In fact, many benefit through decreased health care costs as well as increased revenues and employee productivity.
- Smoking costs Oklahoma businesses $1.73 billion a year in lost productivity. It also raises insurance costs.
- Smoking costs the state Medicaid system $78.7 million in state funds and $139.2 million in federal funds a year.
- Oklahomans spend $1.16 billion annually on smoking-related health costs.
- Smoking costs the average Oklahoma household $550 a year in federal and state tax dollars.
The facts show communities that reduce tobacco use can better compete for new jobs, reduce public and private health care costs, and keep citizens healthier.