2017 Health Care Costs and Smoking in Minnesota and Lost Productivity

Cost of Smoking Comparisons

Each year, smoking claims 6,312 Minnesota lives and costs our state $3.19 billion to treat diseases caused by smoking. That is the key message from the 2017 Health Care Costs and Smoking in Minnesota report.

While we’ve made great progress on the overall smoking rates in Minnesota, deep inequities persist. People with lower incomes, as well as communities of color, American Indian communities, LGBTQ communities, and people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders continue to smoke at disproportionately high rates, and are more frequently targeted by tobacco industry marketing.

You can download and read the full report here.

Lost productivity and its cost on businesses

Lost Productivity ComparisonsAdditionally, smoking also costs Minnesota $4.3 billion in lost productivity. Lost productivity costs include the loss of regular earnings and the “replacement value” for unpaid work typically performed within the home. This figure factors in the years of life lost due to premature death, and is based on the 6,306 smoking-attributable adult deaths recorded in 2014.

These 6,306 deaths represent people who are no longer able to work, earn money for their families, or contribute to their communities because of cigarette smoking. Tying a cost to these deaths shows the tangible economic impact of smoking for employers.

A full fact sheet on lost productivity and its economic burden on businesses can be found here.

Learn more about our work

The key findings in this report represent a renewed call to action to continue our efforts to reduce commercial tobacco use in our communities. Here are two funding initiatives that support communities disproportionately impacted by tobacco use and addiction:

Related links

  • Making Healthy Choices Possible for All Minnesotans

    The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota tackles the leading causes of preventable disease -- tobacco use, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating -- to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state.