Skip to content
FREE UK DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER £30+ / 0800 772 0234


Smoking Costs The UK Economy £12.6 Billion Every Year

Smoking Costs UK Economy Billion Every Year

Smoking is a very expensive habit, you only have to look at the constantly rising prices of cigarettes to know that. The average smoker will spend around £3,300 a year on cigarettes, more if they smoke premium brands!

But what most of us don't think about is the cost that smoking has on the UK as a whole, from the NHS to businesses. In fact the UK government has estimated that smoking costs the UK £12.6 billion a year!

In this blog we are looking at how smoking costs the UK, and how e-cigarettes can help.

£2.5 Billion Covered By The NHS

Unsurprisingly, smoking costs the NHS a lot of money each year. From emergency care to long term support, smokers take up a huge amount of the NHS budget.

In fact, every year almost 1/2 a million hospital admissions are due to smoking, including both smokers and other people who have been affected by 2nd hand smoke.

Smoking can also cause issues while in hospital as well. Being a smoker causes issues in surgery, especially to the anaesthesiologists as they have to look after your heart and lungs while you are under the knife. Smoking causes issues with blood flow which can again cause complications for the surgeons.

The cancer wards however are the worst hit by smokers, with 47% of patients being smokers and respiratory wards coming in second at 39%. 

And it’s not just the impact on hospitals, the NHS includes other services like your GP’s office which are seriously affected by smokers. Studies have found that smokers tend to visit their GP's 35% more often than non-smokers. 

There have already been some steps to help the NHS with e-cigarettes, for example two hospitals in Birmingham have opened Vape shops. They know that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than cigarettes, and by making the switch to e-cigarettes the NHS can save billions every year! 

As one of our previous blog explained, even if the NHS paid people to stop smoking the money saved (as well as all the human lives!) would be huge.

£5.3 Billion Carried By Employers

Smokers are, on average, more ill than non-smokers. This is due to the toxins in cigarettes like arsenic and cyanide slowly damaging the immune system's ability to perform. While this is bad for the smoker, it also causes issues for businesses they work for.

According to a study, they estimate that people who smoke take 3 extra sick days a year compared to their non-smoking colleagues. There is another study from the University of Amsterdam study that suggest the number is closer to 8 extra sick days a year!

To put that in perspective in the UK there are currently over 6 million smokers who conservatively take 3 extra sick days a year could be costing UK businesses up to 18 million sick days every year as a direct result of cigarettes.

That equates to a loss of £1.7 billion every year!

But it's not just the sick days that cost UK business, but the smoking breaks as well. On average a smoker takes four breaks a day, each lasting 10 minutes. In monetary terms the lost output for employers is estimated at around £3.6 billion a year!

E-Cigarettes can play a significant role here as well.  Not only do e cigarettes not contain all the chemicals that are a big part of why smokers get ill, but they also don't produce any 2nd hand smoke which means that they can be used inside as well!

It’s also a common misconception that e-cigarettes must be treated the same as cigarettes when it comes to the workplace environment.  As e cigarettes do not contain tobacco or produce smoke, they are legally not bound under the same smoking laws that exist and can be use in the workplace.

£4.1 Billion Fall Onto Wider Society’s Shoulders

Let’s talk about death. We know it’s a bit morbid, but the premature deaths of smokers can have a big effect on the country. Last year over 77,000 people died in the UK before their time because of smoking cigarettes. If these people were alive and healthy, they would still be contributing to the economy – working in a job, paying taxes, buying things in their local communities, taking holidays, eating in restaurants…driving the wheels of the economy.

The government worked out that early death rates due to smoking is costing £3.1 billion every year to the UK economy. 

But this figure doesn’t factor in peoples’ ability to work when they start getting really sick.  Once unemployment due to long term illness caused by smoking is also factored in, it would add an estimated £1 billion more that is lost every year. 

Conservative Estimates

The last cost of smoking on the UK is the social costs on the local councils with home care services. Compared to the other costs on this list it is barely anything, £760 million in total, but that is still a lot of money each council has to pay each year!

These numbers are of course estimates, but the worrying part is that they are extremely conservative estimates. With more and more illnesses each year being found that are caused by smoking, the price on the NHS and the country are probably much higher.

So if you are a smoker but find yourself take a few more sickies than you other colleagues and you want to save yourself (and the UK) a lot of money, then why not make the switch to SMOKO?

Not only have e cigarettes been found to be one of the most successful quit smoking tools (according to Cancer Research UK) but they provide an incredibly realistic smoking sensation! 

Unlike many other brands of e cigarettes on the market who rely on Chinese-made ingredients, SMOKO only uses the highest quality, pharmaceutically tested ingredients that are all Made in the UK.  So you will still get the nicotine you crave without the thousands of harmful chemicals in cigarettes.

To try a starter kit today just click here -

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.