The negative effects of tobacco usage on health have been well studied, and the Center has published several briefs on the topic as it relates to Mississippi. Both of our projects in this area focused on both the disease impact of smoking but also the economic impact of treating smoking.
Mississippi Medicaid Costs Attributable to Tobacco
Evidence of the increased risk for specific diseases associated with tobacco use is well documented the higher risk calculates into greater health care costs for treating these diseases, much of which is paid by public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The Center commissioned researchers with The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland to review Mississippi Medicaid claims data and quantify the financial impact of tobacco use on Mississippi’s Medicaid program.
Why this is important:
- When all categories of expenditures were totaled, the estimated direct and indirect cost of tobacco-related illness to Mississippi Medicaid was $388 million in 2016and $396 million in 2017.
Secondhand Smoke: Impact on Health and Economy
Reports have indicated that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke can have 80-90% of the impact of chronic smoke. Given the number of smokers in Mississippi, exposure to secondhand smoke is an area of public health interest for Mississippi.
Why this is important:
- The most recent evidence identifies more than 7,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, 69 of which have been identified as carcinogens, or cancer-causing compounds.
- In 2009, approximately 76,719 Mississippi children (10.4%) and 144,009 Mississippi adults (6.6%) had asthma. Between 2003-2007, asthma emergency room visits in Mississippi increased by 23%,15 with approximately 4,000 asthma hospitalizations in 2008.
- Mississippi is one of only seven states without any kind of statewide law restricting smoking in private indoor workplaces, restaurants, or bars.
- In Mississippi, 47 municipalities have passed ordinances ensuring these public places are smoke-free, and 12 municipalities have partial smoke-free ordinances in place.
- Over the three years following implementation of a smoke-free ordinance, residents of Starkville experienced a 22.7% reduction in heart attack admissions, compared with a 14.8% reduction among non-residents treated at the same hospital which resulted in a hospital cost savings of an estimated $288,270 over a five-year period.
- Analysis of tax revenues showed that no Mississippi community experienced a decline in collected tourism tax after enacting a smoke-free policy, indicating that smoke-free ordinances at the municipal level did not have a negative impact on restaurants and/or bars.
- Mississippi Medicaid Costs Attributable to Tobacco (2018)
- Secondhand Smoke: Impact on Health and Economy (2011)