Smoking costs NHS £5bn9th June 2009
A research team from Oxford University has said that the NHS spends five times more on treating smokers than originally estimated.
Previous research, based on information collected in 1991, had estimated the cost to the NHS at £1.4 billion to £1.7 billion.
The study, which was funded by the British Heart Foundation, said that smoking was the cause of a fifth of all deaths.
The research showed the health service paid out more than £5 billion every year in order to treat smoking-related diseases in the UK.
According to their calculations, in 2005 smoking caused the deaths of over a quarter of men (27%) and approximately one in 10 women.
The team calculated that chronic lung conditions cost the health service £1.4 billion per year, treating cancer cost £0.6 billion and cardiovascular disease cost £2.5 billion annually.
Study leader Dr Steven Allender said the increase in cost was mainly due to the improved treatments and new technology used by the health service.
"The story is not so much the five-fold increase but that £5 billion is an enormous number regardless," he added.
"There's two different ways of looking at this - one is if nobody smoked we would save £5 billion but the alternative view is this is an enormous health problem and should be moved back up the policy agenda."
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Thursday 11th June 2009 @ 5:57
So why does the government allow the manufacture and sale of such a deadly product? Health and Safety gone mad. Talk about the - King's New Clothes...
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