IRS Allows Smokers Some Deductions
Calling nicotine a "powerfully addictive drug,'' the Internal Revenue Service reversed a 20-year-old position and will permit smokers to claim medical expense deductions for some costs of trying to quit.
"It's about time,'' said Dr. Mike Eriksen, director of smoking and health at the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. "There is no better preventative program than stopping someone from smoking.'' Citing surgeon general reports since 1988 that nicotine is addictive and smoking harms health, the IRS concluded that programs and prescription drugs that help someone quit smoking are no different from efforts to treat alcoholism or drug addiction -- both of which are already tax deductible.