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Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 4 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average cost to the national health service of each smoker.

It is not possible to estimate the cost of smoking to the NHS accurately, but it may be of the order of £500 million each year. It is not meaningful to apportion this cost among individual smokers, as the amount involved will depend on the nature of each individual's habit and whether it leads to sickness or death in any particular year. An estimated 110,000 deaths per year are caused by smoking-related diseases.