Smoking now costs the NHS £2.7 billion a year
7 October 2008
Smoking now costs the NHS £2.7billion a year - or £50million a week, a report revealed yesterday.
The annual figure has soared from £1.7billion a decade ago despite fewer smokers.
Experts say this is due to factors such as more expensive treatment.
But at least £380million is being saved every year as a result of campaigns to make people quit, the report by Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK will tell the National Cancer Research Institute conference this week.
In 1998, around 28 per cent of the population smoked but the figure is now down to 22 per cent.
The tobacco advertising ban, media campaigns and NHS stop-smoking services have all helped - and figures suggest the public smoking ban since July last year has led to a further 400,000 smokers giving up.
Martin Dockrell, of Ash, said: "The number of smokers has fallen to nine million from 12 million in a decade."
Smoking is responsible for one in six deaths in adults over 35 and
is the single biggest cause of cancer.
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