Footnotes (1)



Calculating the 'Big Kill'

Brad Rodu

University of Louisville

Regulation, Vol. 30, No. 4, Winter 2007-2008

For two decades, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has regularly estimated the deaths, years of life lost, medical expenditures, and productivity losses from cigarette smoking. But how accurate is the underlying CDC estimate of smoking-related deaths? The specifics of the agency's calculations are shrouded in secrecy, yet its estimates are rarely disputed. This article, which is based on my research with Philip Cole, attempts to demystify the secretive CDC process. We provide alternative estimates and propose a dramatic change in how the CDC evaluates the impact of smoking on American society.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 6

Keywords: smoking, kill rates, data collection, estimating deaths, current smokers, former smokers, CDC, mortality rates, NHIS, American Cancer Society, transparency

JEL Classification: C80, C89, I12, I18

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Date posted: February 13, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Rodu, Brad, Calculating the 'Big Kill'. Regulation, Vol. 30, No. 4, Winter 2007-2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1092916

Contact Information

Cato Institute (Contact Author)
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Brad Rodu
University of Louisville ( email )
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
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