• June 15, 2024

The high cost of smoking

World Health Organization photo
Photo by US Mission Geneva

Diseases caused by tobacco smoking accounted for 5.7 percent of global health expenditures in 2012, according to a new report by researchers at the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society.

The report, Global economic cost of smoking-attributable diseases, said too that the total economic cost of smoking was equivalent to 1.8 percent of global GDP.

‘Smoking imposes a heavy economic burden throughout the world, particularly in Europe and North America where the tobacco epidemic is most advanced,’ the report, published by Tobacco Control, concluded.

‘These findings highlight the urgent need for all countries to implement comprehensive tobacco control measures to address these economic costs, while also helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of member states.’

The report found that the amount of healthcare expenditure due to smoking-attributable diseases had totalled purchasing power parity (PPP) of $467 billion (US$422 billion) in 2012, or 5.7 percent of global health expenditure.

‘The total economic cost of smoking (from health expenditures and productivity losses together) totalled PPP $1852 billion (US$1436 billion) in 2012, equivalent in magnitude to 1.8 percent of the world’s annual gross domestic product (GDP).

‘Almost 40 percent of this cost occurred in developing countries, highlighting the substantial burden these countries suffer.’