New figures for the cost of smoking in region
New estimates show the economic cost of smoking to the North East to be about £887million a year in healthcare, social care costs, lost earnings and fires.
The analysis of national data for charity Action on Smoking and Health came up with regional figures as well as the cost of smoking to society total for England each year – £17.04billion.
The amounts, which are based on 15.26 per cent of adults smoking in the North East, or around 326,000 people, and 13.8 per cent of adults smoking, about 6.1 million people, nationally, is higher than previous estimates as a result of a new assessment of the impact of smoking on earnings and employment.
Figures for the North East after the thorough analysis include £684 million a year in lost earnings and employment prospects and £124.9million to the NHS in the region from smoking-related healthcare such as hospital admissions and GP consultations and prescriptions.
There is also £66.9million in social care costs, with smokers needing social care at a younger age than non-smokers for everyday tasks such as dressing, walking and using the toilet. Smoking-related fires are a leading cause of fire-related deaths and the costs of property damage, injuries and deaths amount to another £11million.
Ailsa Rutter, director of the Fresh and Balance regional organisations, said: “We already know that smoking deprives people of many years of good health.
“But these figures are a reminder of the damage smoking also does to communities – costing individuals, families, every council, every business and hospital, and smokers themselves.”