Background: Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death in the UK and imposes a huge economic burden on society. Both the prevalence and extent of smoking are significantly higher among people with mental disorders than among the general population.
Aims: To estimate the economic costs of the health effects of cigarette smoking among people with mental disorders in the UK from a societal perspective.
Methods: This study uses the WHO's economics of tobacco toolkit to assess the costs of the health effects of cigarette smoking among people with mental disorders in 2009/10 in the UK. Based on the cost of illness approach, direct healthcare costs, indirect morbidity costs and indirect mortality costs due to smoking-related diseases were calculated to estimate the avoidable economic burden of smoking in people with mental disorders.
Results: The estimated economic cost of smoking in people with mental disorders was £2.34 billion in 2009/10 in the UK, of which, about £719 million (31% of the total cost) was spent on treating diseases caused by smoking. Productivity losses due to smoking-related diseases were about £823 million (35%) for work-related absenteeism and £797 million (34%) was associated with premature mortality.
Conclusions: Smoking in people with mental disorders in the UK imposes significant economic costs. The development and implementation of smoking cessation interventions in this group should therefore be a high economic and clinical priority.
Keywords: Addiction; Economics; Smoking Caused Disease.
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