Report: Smoking costs Wyoming $242 million a year
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Smoking claims 720 lives and costs $242 million in health care expenditures and lost productivity in Wyoming each year, a report said.
By contrast, the state collects $14.8 million a year in tobacco settlement payments and $5.5 million in tobacco excise taxes, the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
"Unless Wyoming implements an excise tax increase that reduces tobacco use, Wyoming taxpayers can expect their annual tax bill from tobacco use to continue to rise year after year," said Jan Drury, director of advocacy for the American Heart Association.
Wyoming's excise tax on a pack of cigarettes is 12 cents. Of surrounding states, cigarette taxes range from 18 cents in Montana to 69.6 cents in Utah.
Between 1993 and 1998, smoking-caused health care costs rose 49.3 percent in Wyoming, the report said. In addition, 12,900 Wyoming children alive today will die prematurely because of smoking, the CDC said.