(Sacramento, California-AP) -- A new study says taxpayers provide nearly two (b) billion dollars a year to children whose parents die from smoking-related diseases.
The University of California-Davis study estimates a quarter- million children have lost a parent to smoking-related cancer, stroke, heart or lung disease.
It's the first study to examine the taxpayer cost of Social Security Survivors Insurance payments for the 25 percent of continuing smokers who die during child-rearing age.
The study focuses on 1994, when a projected 43-thousand children lost a father or mother to smoking-related causes.
The study acknowledges the two (b) billion-dollar-a-year figure isn't exact -- if all the variables are included, the cost ranges from 800 (m) million to five (b) billion.
The study of death certificate data appears in the May edition of Preventive Medicine magazine. No one at tobacco giant Philip
Morris was available to comment today.
On the Net: The study is available through