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Smoking-Related Diseases

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the annual cost of treatment of smoking-related diseases within the NHS; and what percentage that represents of the annual NHS budget. [122431]

We are implementing a comprehensive tobacco programme to help the seven in 10 smokers who want to quit and to prevent people starting. As well as introducing legislation, we are investing £138 million in the national health service stop smoking services over the next three years and £39 million in the next year on prevention.

The most recent estimated cost to the NHS of treating smoking related diseases was for 1997 and was between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion for England1 . As total net NHS expenditure for the year 1996–97 was £33.0 billion, the percentage of expenditure this represents is between 4.2 per cent. and 5.4 per cent.

1 "Cost Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Interventions" by the Health Education Authority, in collaboration with the University of York published in 1997.