Cigarette Externalities

This full page advertisements appeared in several national newspapers starting today, due to a Federal Court order, from a long-delayed Federal Court case that found US Tobacco companies systematically lied about the health hazards of cigarette smoke for decades.

Smoking was and remains, a massive transfer of cost from the tobacco manufacturers to smokers and the society at large who pay the increased medical care costs caused by smoking. This is the classic externality.


A Federal Court has ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Philip Morris USA, Altria, and Lorillard to make this statement about the health effects of smoking.

  • Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day.

  • More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.

  • Smoking causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder, and pancreas.

  • Smoking also causes reduced fertility, low birth weight in newborns, and cancer of the cervix.

NYT, Sunday 11/26/17. P. 13.

Author: Publicis

A citizen of the United States more concerned with how our society works than with the fate of the parties or particular candidates.

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