Smoking costs Welsh economy £800m a year

25 September 2013        

Category: Research

Cigarette on ashtray

A new report published by ASH Wales - and part-funded by us - reveals that smoking costs the economy in Wales £790.66m a year.

The costs of smoking to the Welsh economy include:

  • £302 million spent on healthcare costs
  • £288 million lost to productivity through premature deaths
  • £49.5 million lost through excess sickness absence
  • £41 million lost to businesses through smoking breaks,
  • £25.8 million spent clearing up smoking-related litter
  • £45.4 million lost through premature death due to second hand smoke exposure

The report also reveals that the cost of smoking to the economy as a whole is £145m higher than the amount generated by tobacco in tax every year, dispelling the myth that smoking benefits the economy.

Our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said: "We know that smoking is deadly for people but it's clear it’s deadly for the economy, too. The day Wales and the rest of the UK become smoke free cannot come soon enough.

"The Welsh Government’s continuing efforts to reduce smoking must be applauded but we need even more work if we want to reduce the terrific burden and appalling misery smoking is placing on our communities right across Wales.

"Services to help people to kick the habit must be accessible to all and there must be further efforts to stop future generations from starting to smoke, including the introduction of standardised cigarette packs."

We're currently campaigning to get standardised packaging introduced for tobacco products. The tobacco industry uses packaging to make its products more attractive, especially to children. Help us protect children from the harms of tobacco and get involved in our campaign.