How E-Cigarettes Could Save the Government Money
E-cigarettes have the capacity to make the government a TON of money if they can manage it correctly – and contrary to what many people believe, it won't come from charging vapers an arm and a leg from taxes.
A comprehensive study was conducted in 2009 that worked to identify the main smoking costs to the federal and state governments. Costs were defined as productivity losses and an increase in the cost of healthcare. (Loss of productivity is described as when an individual dies from smoking or is absent from work because they have a smoking-related disease.) During the period of time in which the study was conducted, the U.S. lost $185 billion due to productivity loss. In addition, healthcare costs reached $116 million.
It is now widespread knowledge that smoking tobacco cigarettes is bad for your health. Some of these health conditions can be serious and there's no disagreeing that these caliber conditions come with a high financial strain to the economy.
Check out our other articles on the topic of personal economics and health for further information:
- What is cigarette smoking really costing you?
- How Does Vaping Affect Your Insurance Premiums?
- 5 ways smoking affects your body
This means, if the government (and FDA specifically) were to make e-cigarettes easier for adult smokers to obtain, more people would likely quit smoking or at least reduce their consumption of tobacco cigarettes. Follow that logic to its conclusion and it is clear that large quantities of smokers who turn to e-cigarettes will lower the amount of money that the government has to pay for Medicaid costs associated with smoking-induced health problems.
Medicaid and Smoking
Let's take a brief look at the expenditure on tobacco-related illnesses by Medicaid alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that Medicaid in the U.S. cares for roughly 68 million people. Of the 68 million Medicaid recipients, over half (52% - or 36 million people) smoke. That is a recipe for a lot of government-paid healthcare!
According to StateBudgetSolutions.org, using e-cigarettes versus tobacco cigarettes could have saved the government upwards of $48 billion in Medicaid alone in 2012 (not to mention lives), which double the taxes and tobacco settlements brought in during the same time period (roughly $24.4 billion).
Another study by Brian S. Armour concludes that due to these 36 million Medicaid smokers, at least 11% of the Medicaid budget goes into treating smoking-related illnesses. Being able to shift the money spent on treating these patients could generate more revenue than excising taxes – by upwards of 87%.
Yes, it's true that we don't know everything there is to know about e-cigarettes yet; however, that doesn't mean that they haven't proven to be a better option for people than tobacco cigarettes. Additionally, although the government currently raises billions of dollars from collecting sales taxes on smokers, much more funds can be added to the government's coffers if people simply switched to a less harmful alternative.
The widespread acceptance of e-cigarettes would be a win-win for the government—they could use the money they would be spending on tobacco-related Medicaid patients elsewhere while still collecting taxes from the sale of e-cigarette devices and e-liquids. That said, the FDA should be cautious with how far they take e-cigarette regulations and taxation in order to save the most money. If the FDA goes too far, it could chase people away or even slow down the rate of e-cigarette innovation and research.
Here at EverSmoke we offer high quality e-cigarettes with time-saving pre-filled cartridges. If you're new to the world of vaping, take some time to browse our site, check out our products and visit our blog and knowledge center.