Smoking-Attributable Direct Healthcare Expenditure in Lithuania: A Prevalence-Based Annual Cost Approach

Medicina (Kaunas). 2018 Apr 12;54(2):15. doi: 10.3390/medicina54020015.


Introduction: The estimates of the economic burden of smoking provide the basis for a comprehensive assessment of the overall economic impact and evidence for potential public health policy intervention by the government. The aim of this paper is to estimate the smoking-attributable direct healthcare expenditure covered by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF) in Lithuania in 2013. Methods: A prevalence-based and disease-specific annual cost approach was applied to 25 smoking-related diseases or disease categories. Our analysis included only direct government healthcare expenditure (reimbursed by CHIF), including: smoking-attributable outpatient and inpatient care services, medical rehabilitation, reimbursable and publicly procured pharmaceuticals and medical aids, the emergency medical aid (ambulance) service, nursing, and expensive tests and procedures. The smoking-attributable expenditure on the above-mentioned healthcare services was calculated by multiplying the total annual expenditure by the corresponding smoking attributable fractions (SAFs). Results: The total smoking-attributable government expenditure amounted to €37.4 million in 2013. This represented 3% of the total CHIF budget in 2013. Smoking-attributable expenditure on inpatient care and medical rehabilitation services was two times higher for male smokers, than for female smokers. Conclusions: Smoking imposes a significant preventable financial cost within the budget of the Lithuanian healthcare system. A quantitative estimation of smoking related healthcare costs could provide an incentive for the development of smoking cessation services, with additional attention towards male smokers, as well as an important focus on smoking prevention among children and youths.

Keywords: economic cost; expenditure; healthcare; smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / economics
  • Budgets
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / economics
  • Lithuania
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / economics*