3.1 Individual and Collective Costs of smoking



In the famous court case of the U.S versus Phillip Morris, they identified that "youth and young adults are more responsive to increases in cigarette and other tobacco prices, and will not try smoking or continue to smoke if cigarette prices rise." For the individual, the price of cigarettes differs in many countries, enabling or disabling some people from smoking. These prices could reflect actual costs or government taxes meant to increase prices.
For the collective, the cost of cigarettes includes health care bills for those suffering from smoking-related illnesses, cost of research on smoking issues and cost of promotional and awareness campaigns to decrease rates of smoking.
This lesson asks learners to think about the individual and collective costs of smoking.


1. Divide into two groups of participants. One will investigate the "individual" costs of smoking are and the other will investigate the "collective" costs of smoking.
2. Brainstorm as two groups and think about what these different types of costs could include.
3. Obtain rough costs estimates of costs per month. Use the resources that we have used already or look for new resources. Do the calculations necessary to obtain this number for a year. Fill these numbers into the chart below. Some resources to get started are: Smoking Cost Calculator
4. Do a presentation informing the other group about the costs of smoking.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how much money an individual spends on cigarettes and smoking paraphenalia
  • Understand this as a percentage of the average income
  • Understand the amount of money spent by governments on health care programs for smoking-related diseases
  • Understand cost of research and awareness campaigns
  • Understand what the money spent on tobacco could be used for

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