Economic Impact

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in Mississippi. Every year, thousands of Mississippians die from tobacco-related illnesses and our state’s taxpayers bear much of the burden.

Lost Lives And Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

In addition to the direct costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses, smoking has a negative impact on worker productivity from lost work hours due to illness.

  • Treatment of tobacco-related diseases costs Mississippi $264 million each year in direct Medicaid costs.
  • For every pack of cigarettes purchased in Mississippi, the state pays $1.04 in direct Medicaid costs.
  • Smoking is estimated to cost Mississippi $1.4 billion per year in lost productivity, based on the premature death of workers.

The Bottom Line for Business Owners

In addition to the health risks to employees and customers, eliminating smoking can have many benefits for Mississippi businesses.

  • Smokefree policies lower the risk of fires and accidental injuries, which can reduce insurance costs.
  • Going smokefree reduces cleaning and maintenance costs and can significantly increase property resale value.
  • Smokefree policies reduce potential legal liability. Nonsmokers harmed by secondhand smoke at work have won a number of lawsuits and disability claims against their employers.
  • With smokefree policies, workers – both smokers and nonsmokers – become healthier. Healthier workers miss less work, are more productive, and have lower healthcare costs.