Richard E. Wagner

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Richard E. Wagner co-authored a report with Robert D. Tollison dissmissing that there were any social - as distinct for private - costs arising from smoking.

"Tobacco products are among the most highly taxed and strictly regulated products in America. The economic penalties imposed upon these products are justified by anti-smoking advocates by the supposed costs to society that result from the claimed health effects of cigarette use. These costs are known as "social costs". But to the extent that any costs associated with smoking exist, these costs actually are "private costs"-- costs borne by the individual rather than society. This is the critical finding: of a new book, Smoking and The State written by Professors Robert D. Tollison and Richard Wagner of the Center for Public Choice at George Mason University," the executive summary of the report states. [1]

"Wagner and Tollison conclude that there is no convincing basis for the claim that any economic costs of smoking: are imposed on nonsmokers. Nor, the authors say, do smokers impose an uncompensated cost on nonsmokers from the claimed consequences of environmental tobacco smoke," the report states.

Richard Wagner is a member of the Board of Scholars of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy and in the summer of 1978 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies. [2]


  • Robert D. Tollison, Richard E. Wagner, "Smoking and the state: social costs, rent seeking, and public policy", Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachussetts, c1988. ISBN 0-66917-100-X.
  • Robert D. Tollison, Richard E. Wagner, "The Economics of Smoking", Kluwer Academic Publishers, October 1991, ISBN 0792392248

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