Although smoking cessation is desirable from a public health perspective, its consequences with respect to health care costs are still debated. Smokers have more disease than nonsmokers, but nonsmokers live longer and can incur more health costs at advanced ages. We analyzed health care costs for smokers and nonsmokers and estimated the economic consequences of smoking cessation.
If people stopped smoking, there would be a savings in health care costs, but only in the short term. Eventually, smoking cessation would lead to increased health care costs.