Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2460-2472; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062460
Review

External Costs of Risky Health Behaviors Associated with Leading Actual Causes of Death in the U.S.: A Review of the Evidence and Implications for Future Research

1 Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, 3005 Chamblee-Tucker Rd, MS-K67, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA 2 Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, 1155 E. 60th Street, Suite 112, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 May 2010; in revised form: 1 June 2010 / Accepted: 1 June 2010 / Published: 3 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
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Abstract: This paper reviews the evidence on external costs of risky behaviors in the U.S. and provides a framework for estimating them. External costs arise when a person does not bear all the costs of his or her behavior. They provide one of the strongest rationales for government interventions. Although the earlier estimates of external costs no longer have policy relevance, they demonstrated that the existence of external costs was an empirical question. We recommend that the estimates of external costs be updated as insurance structures, environments, and knowledge about these behaviors change. The general aspects of external costs may apply to countries other than the U.S. after taking into account differences in institutional, policy and epidemiological characteristics.
Keywords: costs; smoking; environmental tobacco smoke; alcohol; excessive drinking; obesity; poor diet; physical inactivity

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zohrabian, A.; Philipson, T.J. External Costs of Risky Health Behaviors Associated with Leading Actual Causes of Death in the U.S.: A Review of the Evidence and Implications for Future Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2460-2472.

AMA Style

Zohrabian A, Philipson TJ. External Costs of Risky Health Behaviors Associated with Leading Actual Causes of Death in the U.S.: A Review of the Evidence and Implications for Future Research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(6):2460-2472.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zohrabian, Armineh; Philipson, Tomas J. 2010. "External Costs of Risky Health Behaviors Associated with Leading Actual Causes of Death in the U.S.: A Review of the Evidence and Implications for Future Research." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 6: 2460-2472.

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