TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed May 7-13 as Tobacco Free Florida Week. This year, the theme for the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Week is The Cost of Smoking, which focuses on what smoking costs Floridians — both physically and financially. The amount of money smokers spend can be significant. 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.
Smoking not only impacts your wallet, it also takes a toll on your health and time with family and friends. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. For every person who, dies, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. About 30 percent of cancer deaths in Florida are caused by cigarette smoking.
“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 cost of smoking is not just on a personal level. Sick smokers incur significant health costs. A reduction in the number of smokers positively impacts that state. For example:
- 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, a 16 percent decline.[
- In 2015 alone, an estimated $3.2 billion in smoking-related health care costs was saved as a result of declines in adult smoking in Florida
- If the adult smoking rate declines as expected, the state will save $8.2 billion between 2016 and 2020 in cumulative smoking-related personal health care costs.
Tobacco Free Florida’s efforts have helped reduce the state cigarette smoking rate to a record low. In 2015, it stands at 15.8 percent – the lowest it has ever been. The youth smoking rate has decreased from 10.6 percent in 2006 to 3 percent in 2016 – an astounding 71 percent decrease.
Tobacco is expensive, but quitting can be free and benefits your health almost immediately. Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access free tools and services to help them quit. These free services that have helped more than 159,000 people across the state quit tobacco.
Smokers can access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting at tobaccofreeflorida.com/calculator. Tobacco Free Florida also recently launched the Smoker Store initiative to bring the true cost of smoking to life. To learn more, visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/costofsmoking.
About Tobacco Free Florida Week
The ninth annual Tobacco Free Florida Week takes place from May 7-13. Join the conversation on social media using #CostofSmoking.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
About Tobacco Free Florida – The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 159,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida’s free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.