Objectives: The main objective of this work is to quantify the number of hospitalizations caused by smoking, estimate the costs of hospital treatment and to estimate contribution of smoking to mortality in the Czech Republic (CR) in 2002.
Methods: The estimate of the proportion by which smoking contributed to hospitalizations and to mortality in the CR was computed using the method of smoking-attributable fractions (SAF). The SAF was computed from relative risks established in the American study Cancer Prevention Study II and from estimates of the prevalence of smoking in the CR from a nationwide study conducted in 2002.
Results: In 2002, based on data provided by the General Health Insurance Company, there were 145,336 hospitalizations, and the total cost of hospital treatment was estimated as 4.727,612 (in thousands) CZK. The total number of deaths caused by smoking was 20,550 (95% CI: 18,851-22,262), 14,525 in men and 6,025 in women. Deaths caused by smoking represented 19% of the total nationwide mortality for 2002. Earlier estimates were published by Peto and Lopez for 1995 (22,300 deaths caused by smoking) and 2000 (17,746 deaths). The estimate arrived by authors using the SAF method for 2002 corresponds quite well with that by Peto and Lopez for 2000.
Conclusions: The high morbidity and mortality rate related to smoking is directly connected to high prevalence of smoking in the Czech Republic. An effective tobacco control policy, including restrictive measures on availability of tobacco products combined with preventive programmes and smoking cessation programmes, could contribute to the reduction of smoking and save lives and treatment costs caused by smoking.