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NHS: Expenditure

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of treating patients who are ill as a result of (a) alcohol, (b) smoking, (c) obesity and (d) poverty-related issues in the last 12 months. (149515)

While it is not possible to give exact figures for the past 12 months due to how and when data is collected1, the following will give an indication of the annual cost in each of the areas requested:

Alcohol-related illness costs the national health service £1.7 billion each year

Smoking costs the NHS between £1.4 and £1.7 billion every year

Obesity costs the NHS approximately £1 billion per year.

Information about the cost to the NHS of treating patients who are ill as a result of poverty-related issues is not readily available.

1 The information provided was also gleaned from a number of sources which may have computed the costs in different ways.