The Price Of Smoking On The NHS
- 08 Oct
- SMOKO E-Cigarettes
How Electronic Cigarette Starter Kits could help the NHS
There is no debate that smoking places an unnecessary strain on the NHS every year.
But it has been a long lasting debate regarding how much smoking actually costs the NHS, research conducted in 2006 estimated that smoking cost the NHS anywhere from £2.5B and £6B!
Before we delve any deeper into this mystery, it is important to note that people don’t simply get admitted to the hospital for ‘smoking’, but rather due to a series of related illness and symptoms. The symptoms can range anywhere from chronic coughing to worst case scenarios like cancer, so it is with great uncertainty that these researches are conducted.However there is no doubt that smoking is a big problem for the NHS.
How Much Smoking Costs the NHS
Smoking in general is the leading (preventable) killer in the UK. About half of life-long smokers dying prematurely from cancer or other diseases.
Smoking kills more people than obesity, alcohol, illegal drugs, road accidents and HIV infections combined.
Treating smoking related cancer costs the NHS roughly £0.6bn a year and cardiovascular diseases costs £2.5bn a year more. This is also added with treatment for long-term lung conditions which costs a further £1.4bn.
An Oxford university team of researchers found that in 2005, smoking accounted for one in five deaths and a significantly higher number of disabilities in the UK. This number is on the rise every year and equates to about 5.5% of the entire NHS budget.
However these estimates are slightly inaccurate and are also underestimated. This is especially true when it comes to cancer. It is extremely hard to pin the cause of cancer, so cancer patients often don't get included in smoking statistics.
The actual number is likely to be much higher. Other research has also been conducted to attempt to estimate the cost of smoking related illness to the NHS, many of which resulted in a much higher number than stated in this article.
Finally another impact on the wider UK economy, smoking causes roughly £2.5bn in sick leave and loss of productivity to businesses.
Why Is Smoking So Costly To The NHS?
In 2013 17% of all deaths of adults aged 35 and over in England were estimated to be attributed to smoking (about 1 in 6 deaths)! Smoking can also be attributed to a loss of about 10 years of life for a pack a day smoker.
In fact the number of admissions related to smoking has been on the rise since 1996/1997. This is most likely due to the older generation of smokers beginning to experience the effects of their bad habits.
In 2008/2009 there was an estimated 1.5 million hospital admissions of which the primary diagnosis was a disease related to smoking.
With such staggering statistics about the general damage caused by smoking, there is no doubt that smoking related patients account for a huge portion of the NHS’s funding.
Even though smoking is reducing in popularity every day, it is still the leading cause of death and diseases in the UK.
How E-Cigarettes Can Help
Considering the overall cost of smoking on the NHS and ultimately on how are taxes are being spent in the UK E-cigarettes seem like the best way to stop this. And the recent article from Public Health England backs this idea. They claim that “e-cigarettes can be up to 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes,” which means that if you make the switch you are not only saving money for yourself, but for everyone else as well!
So if you know someone who is still smoking or see someone on the street smoking, tell them about SMOKO, get them the UK's best electronic cigarette and how it can change their lives and yours!