M A I N   N E W S

World no tobacco day
India loses more to tobacco than it spends on health, reveals study
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan hints at raising tax on tobacco to curb its use
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

The research says
The economic cost of tobacco use was Rs 1,04,500 crore in 2011 for users aged 35 to 69
It translates into 1.16% of the GDP — 0.12% more than the combined central and state expenditure on health in 2011-2012
Men share 91% of the economic burden, while women’s contribution is higher (29%) for smokeless tobacco

New Delhi, May 31
India is annually losing more in terms of economic costs of tobacco use than it is spending on health. A new research on the financial consequences of tobacco use has revealed that economic costs of tobacco use, which causes serious diseases, was Rs 1,04,500 crore in 2011 for users aged 35 to 69 years.

This burden translates into 1.16 per cent of the GDP — 0.12 per cent more than the combined central and state expenditure on health in 2011-2012, the year of study selected by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), which says a comprehensive taxation policy is a must to prevent tobacco use. Of the total economic cost, 16 per cent was direct cost of treatment and 84 per cent was indirect cost in terms of morbidity.

The report's concerns were shared today by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who, in his first public appearance today, hinted at raising taxes on tobacco to curb its use. "It makes perfect economic sense to regulate tobacco towards the goal of non-communicable disease control in India. Unless we come together to fight tobacco, the financial burden of tobacco-attributable diseases will continue to push families towards poverty and decelerate our economic growth. We must not let it happen," he said, making the report public on the eve of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

The non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 53 per cent of all deaths in India and over 80 per cent NCD deaths are attributed to four diseases - cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. Tobacco consumption is a major risk factor for all these NCDs.

The PHFI found that CVDs shared the highest burden (Rs 3,600 crore) on account of tobacco use, followed by respiratory diseases (Rs 2,800 crore), TB (Rs 2,300 crore) and cancers (Rs 1,400 crore). The direct medical costs of hospital care and treatment of tobacco attributable diseases amounted to Rs 16,800 crore and associated indirect morbidity cost came to Rs 14,700 crore. The study shows that men are major contributors to economic burden related to tobacco, sharing 91 per cent of the cost. The women's contribution was higher (29 per cent) for smokeless tobacco.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |