Smoking costs global economy $1 trillion annually: WHO/NCI study

Smoking costs global economy $1 trillion annually: WHO/NCI study

Smoking costs the global economy more than $1 trillion annually and the habit will be claiming as many as 8 million lives each year by 2030, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The newly published report stressed that the cost of smoking far outweighs taxes generated through tobacco sales, which have been estimated at around $269 billion for the year of 2013-2014.

The number of tobacco-related deaths is expected to jump from around 6 million deaths per annum now to around 8 million deaths annually by 2030. Most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

The 688-page report states, “It is responsible for... likely over $1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity each year. Government fears that tobacco control will have an adverse economic impact are not justified by the evidence. The science is clear; the time for action is now.”

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of death worldwide but governments spent less than $1 billion to tackle the health issue in 2013-2014.

Nearly 80 per cent of smokers live in low- and middle-income countries. Although smoking prevalence is declining among the global population, the total number of smokers is rising worldwide.

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