Skip to main content

Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, professor in the UNC Department of Family Medicine and member of UNC Lineberger, was featured in the Q&A section of a report on the health and financial impacts of smoking across the United States.

“Smoking doesn’t just ruin your health. It can also burn a nasty hole through your wallet. Tobacco use accounts for nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. Smokers also may have an increased risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19. In addition, even those around tobacco smokers aren’t safe from its harmful effects. Since 1964, smoking-related illnesses have claimed over 20 million lives in the U.S., 2.5 million of which belonged to nonsmokers who developed diseases merely from secondhand-smoke exposure.

“However, the economic and societal costs of smoking are just as huge. Every year, smoking costs the U.S. more than $300 billion, which includes both medical care and lost productivity. Unfortunately, some people will have to pay more depending on the state in which they live.”

Read the full report at, including an “Ask the Expert” section featuring Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of the UNC Tobacco Intervention Program.