Cost/Benefit Analysis of Cigarette Smoking

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Introduction
The overall economic costs of smoking cigarettes has become somewhat of an epidemic in society for a variety of reasons. It includes numerous private and social costs. The private cost to smokers goes far beyond the price of cigarettes alone. Smokers also pay with their health, life, and finances. Alongside the great cost to smokers, they enjoy benefits to the same degree. The total cost of smoking not only effects smokers, but society as well. The externalities from smoking are both negative and positive. Society bears the burden of the negative externalities, or social costs, both physically and monetarily. The positive externalities, or social benefits, play a significant economic role in society. The tobacco
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The average smoker's overall quality of life is jeopardized because of the health ramifications. Many long-time smokers have lower endurance than non-smokers which results in frequent shortness of breath. They are also more prone to common illnesses due to their lowered immune system. Finally, they are at a high risk for disease and premature death. Although these costs are high, smokers do reap some benefit by making the choice to smoke.
If the private cost of smoking to smokers is so high then why smoke? "According to economic theory, if smokers are fully informed, rational and under no duress, it can be assumed that the benefits of smoking to them are at least equal to the costs which they themselves bear."(Collins; Lapsley) Otherwise, they would not smoke. The benefits to the smoker are both physical and psychological.
Cigarettes are highly addictive. Reinforcement and withdrawal are the two key factors that establish cigarette smoking as an addictive behavior. As a learned response to consumption, reinforcement leads smokers into becoming dependent on the rewards or benefits they reap from smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes creates a physical dependence while the act of lighting up and smoking creates a psychological dependence. A smoker benefits from the positive reinforcement that comes from both the physical and psychological effects of smoking. Smokers are also influenced by
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