Consultation on creating a smokefree generation closes
What is impossible to calculate is the cost to the 64,000 families who lose a loved one every single year as a direct result of tobacco.Alice Wiseman
ADPH Vice President
Today, on the closing day of the Government’s consultation on creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping, we have submitted our response outlining why we agree that the age of sale for tobacco products should be changed so that anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 will never be legally sold (and also in Scotland, never legally purchase) tobacco products.
To mark the end of the consultation Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) today publishes new figures showing the far-reaching impact smoking has on society, demonstrating why action to make smoking history is needed.
Smoking costs England £49.2 billion each year in lost productivity and service costs, plus an additional £25.9 billion lost quality adjusted life years due to premature death from smoking. The figure for lost productivity is far greater than previous estimates as it includes areas of lost productivity where the impact of smoking has not previously been estimated.
One of the new areas of analysis is the loss to the economy from people spending their money on tobacco which generates fewer UK jobs and lower profit margins for retailers compared with other products and services people would purchase if they didn’t buy tobacco. This found that if no one bought tobacco in England the total benefit to the economy in gross value added would be £13.6 billion.
Alice Wiseman, ADPH Vice President and Policy Lead for Addiction, said:
“These new figures reveal the sheer scale of cost that tobacco has on our society. We know that the majority of people who smoke start young and regret ever starting but, because they are addicted, struggle to quit.
“We know that this addiction causes untold harms to individuals’ health and that costs. It costs to provide health and social care and it costs the economy when people aren’t well enough to work. Today’s figures put a shocking price on these – and other – financial costs but what is impossible to calculate is the cost to the 64,000 families who lose a loved one every single year as a direct result of tobacco.
“We simply must make this legislation a reality.”