Tobacco Growing vs. Healthcare Costs in KY

Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy

June 2013 Newsletter


In communities that grow tobacco, tobacco control advocates are often challenged as they attempt to promote smoke-free policy. It is true that many Kentuckians still grow tobacco: according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, about 8,000 Kentucky farms grew tobacco. However, the revenue that Kentucky gains from tobacco production wanes in comparison to the healthcare costs generated by tobacco-related disease in our state.

$ $ $ $     


Did you know? For every $1 earned growing tobacco, KY

spends $4.31 treating sick smokers every year.

  According to the University of Kentucky’s Department of Agricultural Economics, over the last 8 years Kentucky has averaged $347,819,375 in annual tobacco revenue. However, according to The Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, Kentuckians spends $1.5 billion each year on healthcare for diseases directly caused by smoking—this estimate does not include healthcare costs related to exposure to secondhand smoke or use of smokeless tobacco. Add another $2.3 billion for lost productivity due to smoking related diseases, and the picture becomes even clearer.

Kentucky cannot afford the toll that tobacco takes on our health and economic wellbeing. Share these facts with your local media, key community leaders, and policymakers. Click here to view the most current published information on annual tobacco revenues.

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