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Costs

Fewer Scots are choosing to smoke – but the costs of the habit remain high

National No Smoking Day passed last week with the now routine announcements from health chiefs welcoming the fact that fewer adults are choosing to light up.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/fewer-scots-are-choosing-to-smoke-but-the-costs-of-the-habit-remain-high-1-4392433

But the costs of the habit remain high and ensure that neither the Westminster or Holyrood governments will be declaring victory in their battle to stub it out.

Smoking remains the primary ­preventable cause of ill-health, disability and premature death in Scotland.

Each year tobacco use is associated with around 128,000 hospital admissions and more than 10,000 smoking-attributable deaths north of the border.

The average smoker in Scotland spends £1,500 each year on tobacco – and significantly more people in our poorest communities spend at this level compared to our most affluent.

Prevalence rates in Scotland have fallen from around 28 per cent in 2003 to just under 21 per cent in 2015. Among 13-year-olds and 15-year-olds, smoking rates have fallen steadily to their lowest ever levels – two per cent and seven per cent respectively.

“We’ve had ten years of decisive action which has undoubtedly improved our nation’s health – but there is still more to be done,” said public health minister Aileen Campbell. “As a result of our Take it Right Outside campaigns, reported exposure to second-hand smoke in the home among children under 16 has halved between 2013 and 2015 from over 11 per cent to six per cent.

“In December 2016 it became ­illegal to smoke in cars where children are present – and later this year, we will restrict the sale and availability of e-cigarettes to under-18s and introduce an offence for smoking near hospital buildings.

“We believe that by working together, and with the public’s ­support, we can achieve our goal of creating a tobacco-free generation by 2034.”

Data published this month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 17.2 per cent of adults across the UK smoked in 2015 – the lowest level since records began in 1974.

Figures from 2015 also showed the highest level of so-called quitters in more than four decades.

Smoking Costs Nearly 2% of World’s GDP, Tobacco Control Measures Needed

http://www.news18.com/news/business/smoking-costs-nearly-2-of-worlds-gdp-tobacco-control-measures-needed-1344166.html

Smoking consumes almost six per cent of the world’s total spend on healthcare and nearly two per cent of global GDP, a new research has found.

In 2012 the total cost amounted to $1,436 billion, with nearly 40 per cent of this sum borne by developing countries. The four BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — accounted for 25 per cent of it, the findings showed.

“These findings highlight the urgent need for all countries to implement comprehensive tobacco control measures to address these economic costs,” the researchers said.

The detrimental impact of smoking on national health systems and economies has been widely studied since the 1960s, but most of these studies have focused exclusively on high income countries, the researchers noted.

So Mark Goodchild from World Health Organization (WHO) and colleagues wanted to include low and middle income countries to come up with more accurate estimates of the total global cost.

And so they included data from 152 countries representing 97 per cent of the world’s smokers.

They used the ‘cost of illness’ approach, first devised in 1960. This divides the economic impact of an illness into direct costs, such as hospital admissions and treatment, and indirect costs representing the value of productivity lost to death and disability in current and future years, for a given year.

The direct and indirect costs are then added up to provide the overall societal cost, usually expressed as a percentage of annual gross domestic product (GDP).

The researchers used data from sources such as the WHO and the World Bank to uncover information on the proportion of ill health and death attributable to smoking, national employment rates, and GDP for each of the 152 countries, to inform their calculations.

These showed that in 2012, diseases caused by smoking accounted for 12 per cent (2.1 million) of all deaths among working age adults aged 30-69, according to the study published in the journal Tobacco Control.

This figure included 1.4 million adults who would have been in the workforce.

The number of working years lost because of smoking related ill health added up to 26.8 million, 18 million of which were lost to death with the remainder lost to disability.

In terms of health spend attributable to smoking, this totalled $422 billion, equivalent to nearly six per cent of the global total.

The researchers pointed out that their calculations did not include the health and economic harms caused by second hand smoke or smokeless forms of tobacco, and that their estimates of lost productivity applied only to those who were economically active.

Bedford lost £14m last year due to smoking breaks

Figures released this week show smoking costs Bedford borough’s economy almost £34million a year.

But the biggest cost to the economy is not early deaths (£8.79million), smoking-related disease (£4.25million) or lost productivity because of sick days (£2.48million), says Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Instead the big cost is from people taking smoking breaks – reckoned to have cost Bedford firms nearly £14million last year because of lost productivity.

Councillor Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for public health, said: “Both councils and the NHS are experiencing severe funding pressures so these costs are not sustainable.

“Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable death and illness in Bedford Borough, and the council provides free advice and support to help smokers to stop.

“People who use the stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit and last year we helped more than 700 people to successfully stop.

“For advice and support call 0800 013 0553.”

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “We know that most local authorities remain committed to reducing smoking but key services are under threat from public health funding cuts.”

http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/bedford-lost-14m-last-year-due-to-smoking-breaks-1-7801719

Smoking kills, so stop protecting it

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/01/204184/smoking-kills-so-stop-protecting-it

JAMES Bond isn’t the only one with a licence to kill. The World Health Organisation reports that smoking costs the global economy RM4.5 trillion a year, and will take eight million lives annually by 2030.

For a species that has invented fire, travelled to space and split the atom, we are still paying an industry to kill us. Mankind is indeed strange.

Decades of research have shown that smoking can be fatal. So, we are often asked: if cigarettes cause such harm, why are they allowed to exist?

One challenge is the separation of the problem — the health industry sees tobacco as a health issue, while businesses and governments see it as an economic driver.

But the same WHO report also states that the cost of smoking far outweighs the revenue from tobacco taxes.

Treating smoking-related diseases drives up the cost of healthcare. In 2005, Malaysia’s Health Ministry spent 26 per cent of its budget to treat those diseases, which accounted for 0.74 per cent of its gross domestic product.

There are also the environment, productivity and human development — smoking pollutes our air and water, and smokers are 30 per cent more likely to miss work (for longer periods, too). In some families, money for cigarettes is taken from household essentials.

No other industry causes as much damage to its users and non-users alike — and remains legal.

Instead of protecting this industry, we urge the nation to support tobacco control efforts in Malaysia.

Tobacco control can work. A study published in the United States this month reports that efforts since 1964 had resulted in eight million fewer smoking deaths.

We should want the same for our fellow Malaysians.

MANDY THOO

National Cancer Society Malaysia

Smoking Rates May Decline With Higher Tobacco Taxes

If all countries raise excise taxes on tobacco products, smoking rates may decline by up to 9%.

http://www.thecardiologyadvisor.com/prevention/smoking-rates-drop-tobacco-high-taxes/article/631011/

Smoking kills about 6 million people a year, and costs the world more than $1 trillion a year in health care expenses and lost productivity, but billions of dollars and millions of lives could be saved through higher tobacco prices and taxes, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US National Cancer Institute.

“The economic impact of tobacco on countries, and the general public, is huge, as this new report shows,” Oleg Chestnov, MD, PhD, the WHO’s assistant director-general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health, said in an agency news release. “The tobacco industry produces and markets products that kill millions of people prematurely, rob households of finances that could have been used for food and education, and impose immense health care costs on families, communities, and countries.”

Annual tax revenues from cigarettes globally could increase by 47%, or $140 billion, if all countries raised excise taxes by about 80 cents per pack, according to the report.

The report authors predicted this would raise cigarette retail prices an average of 42%, leading to a 9% decline in smoking rates and up to 66 million fewer adult smokers.

Poorer countries suffer the greatest burden from tobacco use. There are 1.1 billion smokers aged 15 years or older worldwide, and 8 out of 10 of them are in low- and middle-income countries.

The research summarized in this report “confirms that evidence-based tobacco control interventions make sense from an economic as well as a public health standpoint,” report co-editor Frank Chaloupka, PhD, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in the news release.

CASHING IN ON 240 DAILY DEATHS: LAWYERING FOR BIG TOBACCO IN THE PHILIPPINES

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Smoking costs global economy over US$1 trillion a year: study

http://www.ejinsight.com/20170110-smoking-costs-global-economy-over-us1-trln-a-year-says-new-study/

Smoking costs the global economy more than US$1 trillion a year, and will kill one third more people by 2030 than it does now, according to a new report released on Tuesday.

The World Health Organization and the US National Cancer Institute said in a study that the costs from smoking far outweigh global revenues from tobacco taxes, Reuters reports.

“The number of tobacco-related deaths is projected to increase from about 6 million deaths annually to about 8 million annually by 2030, with more than 80 percent of these occurring in LMICs (low- and middle-income countries),” the study said.

Around 80 percent of smokers live in such countries, and although smoking prevalence was falling among the global population, the total number of smokers worldwide is rising, it said.

Health experts say tobacco use is the single biggest preventable cause of death globally.

“It is responsible for… likely over $1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity each year,” said the study, peer-reviewed by more than 70 scientific experts.

The economic costs are expected to continue to rise. Although governments have the tools to reduce tobacco use and associated deaths, most have fallen far short of using those tools effectively, WHO said in the report.

“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.”

Cheap and effective policies include hiking tobacco taxes and prices, comprehensive smoke-free policies, complete bans on tobacco company marketing, and prominent pictorial warning labels.

Tobacco taxes could also be used to fund more expensive interventions such as anti-tobacco mass media campaigns and support for cessation services and treatments, it said.

Governments spent less than US$1 billion on tobacco control in 2013-2014, according to a WHO estimate.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

4 Tobacco Stats That Will Blow You Away

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/4-tobacco-stats-that-will-blow-you-away-cm727871

Investors in Altria Group (NYSE: MO) , Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) , and other tobacco companies around the world understand the risks inherent in investing in the industry. Cigarettes have been demonstrated to have negative health impacts, and even big tobacco companies like Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) have started to respond to these potential harms by looking at alternatives to traditional cigarettes that carry reduced risks for consumers.

When you look at the numbers that government agencies, consumer advocates, and other anti-smoking groups provide, it’s easier to understand some of the challenges that cigarette makers face in sustaining their businesses. Let’s look at four particularly noteworthy statistics.

1. Potential international growth of 45% in two decades

Even advocates who are trying to stamp out smoking admit that they’re losing ground on a global scale. There are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world currently, according to the nonprofit group Action on Smoking & Health, and that number is expected to grow to 1.6 billion over the next 20 years.

In part, those numbers reflect the sluggish pace of regulation in areas where smoking is most likely to rise. Only a small fraction of countries have provisions like smoke-free laws, government services to support those seeking to quit smoking, and bans on advertising on tobacco products that are most likely to keep smoking rates down. As a result, those tobacco companies focusing on the international market have plenty of potential for growth.

2. Cigarette smoking kills 480,000 Americans annually

Tobacco use has long been the single largest preventable cause of death in the U.S., according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that more than 480,000 Americans die each year from smoking, with 41,000 of those deaths coming from the effects of secondhand smoke.

Most people think of lung cancer as the key cause of death related to smoking, but the practice has been linked to a host of other diseases — including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes — and other adverse health effects. Government health advocates are convinced that the costs of encouraging smoking cessation are worth the savings those efforts produce.

3. The staggering economic costs of smoking

In addition to the number of deaths, the amount of money and resources that goes toward caring for those with smoking-related illnesses is surprisingly high. The CDC estimates that the direct costs of medical care in the U.S. for adults who need it because of tobacco products add up to almost $170 billion annually. In addition, lost productivity from workers who take time off due to smoking-related ailments brings the total cost above the $300 billion mark.

Smoking is a big enough cause of economic damage that the insurance industry makes smoking one of the key factors in determining premiums for life insurance.

Moreover, the difficulty of quitting smoking makes cessation products an extremely lucrative market, adding to potential revenue for businesses related to the practice.

4. Tobacco is still big business, despite downward pressures

Even with falling smoking volume in the U.S., the sheer amount of tobacco in the market is impressive. More than 24 billion cigarettes were produced in the U.S. market in October, the most recent month for which data from the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau were available. So far in 2016, 233 billion cigarettes have been produced, along with almost 5.4 billion cigars, 100 million pounds of snuff, and roughly 50 million pounds of tobacco for chewing, pipe, or roll-your-own use.

Believe it or not, those figures are actually down considerably from year-ago figures. Cigarette use has dropped by about 10 billion units this year compared to this time last year; although smaller cigars have seen volumes rise, the bigger large-cigar market has seen drops of nearly 10%. That has resulted in sales-volume declines among large producers, but their ability to succeed speaks to the experience they have fighting such trends.

Tobacco companies have managed to overcome statistics like these and still produce growing profits over time. However, given the severity of some of these numbers, it’s understandable why even industry stalwarts are looking closely at reduced-risk alternatives in an effort to try to put some of these statistics behind them once and for all.

National Cancer Institute – The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control

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Major tobacco firms are appealing a landmark $15B ruling they lost

https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/11/21/major-tobacco-firms-are-appealing-a-landmark-15b-ruling-they-lost.html

Three major tobacco firms are appealing a landmark $15 billion Superior Court ruling they lost in June 2015.

Lawyers for Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans-Benson & Hedges began arguments today during hearings that are expected to last until the end of the week.

The companies were targeted by two separate lawsuits heard at the same time that were filed in 1998 and only went to trial in 2012.

They were sued by people who were addicted to cigarettes and couldn’t quit as well as by those who had suffered from cancer or emphysema.

Some 76 witnesses testified and nearly 43,000 documents were deposited as evidence, including internal tobacco company documents that showed smokers didn’t know or understand the risks associated with cigarettes.

Cigarette companies argued their customers knew the risks of smoking and that their products were sold legally and were strictly regulated by the federal government.

The same cigarette companies are also being sued by the Quebec government in a $60-billion lawsuit aiming to recover health care costs related to smokers.