You’d have thought the tobacco industry was struggling under the The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2009. Not so, it would seem. The average CEO in the tobacco industry pulled in a whopping $13 million last year.
The United States produces 408,200 tons of unprocessed tobacco per year. More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.
Total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion a year in the US – $170 billion in direct medical care & $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke. Yet tobacco CEO’s are the best paid in America! Note that states will collect $25.6 billion from tobacco taxes – so less than 10% of the economic cost!
CEO Pay by Industry (of Russell 3000 Index of Companies) in 2014
- TOBACCO PRODUCTS $13,061,671
- RAILROAD TRANSPORTATION $12,526,083
- PETROLEUM REFINING AND RELATED INDUSTRIES $12,502,981
- COMMUNICATIONS $11,032,101
- HOTELS, ROOMING HOUSES, CAMPS, AND OTHER LODGING PLACES $10,058,029
- MOTION PICTURES $9,653,468
- INSURANCE CARRIERS $9,576,967
- GENERAL MERCHANDISE STORES $8,701,794
- SECURITY AND COMMODITY BROKERS, DEALERS, EXCHANGES, AND SERVICES $8,157,178
- COAL MINING $8,028,257
- APPAREL AND OTHER FINISHED PRODUCTS MADE FROM FABRICS AND SIMILAR MATERIALS $7,720,339
- OIL AND GAS EXTRACTION $7,628,721
- PREPACKAGED SOFTWARE $7,554,647
- FOOD AND KINDRED PRODUCTS $7,323,559
- BUILDING CONSTRUCTION GENERAL CONTRACTORS AND OPERATIVE BUILDERS $7,290,780
- LEATHER AND LEATHER PRODUCTS $7,109,518
- TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT $7,107,876
- LIFE INSURANCE $6,945,903
- FIRE, MARINE, AND CASUALTY INSURANCE $6,790,941
- AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR, SERVICES, AND PARKING $6,553,227