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To a Cigarette Maker, Your Life Is Worth About $10,000

Since there is one death for every million cigarettes sold (or smoked), a tobacco manufacturer will make about $10,000 for every death caused by their products.Illustration by Raxon Rex / Flickr

If you had to put a price on your life, what cash amount do you think it would be? What about $100,000? That was the amount, last June, that a group of kidnappers in Atlanta demanded in exchange for a woman’s life. Not high enough? Well, in a statistical sense, certain government agencies value a human life significantly more. In 2010, for example, both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration put a price on human life: $9.1 million (in proposing stricter air pollution regulations) and $7.9 million (in

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