THE NETHERLANDS. Smoking costs Dutch society between €21bn and €43bn a year, or €2,000 per head of the population, a report by the SEO economic research institute has concluded.
The research was carried out on behalf of foundation Eindspel Tabak, which wants to stamp out tobacco use altogether.
SEO looked at three scenarios and compared them to a society in which no one smokes. It found that smokers and ex-smokers add considerably to the costs of society, die sooner, are less productive at work and have a lower quality of life.
For every smoking-related death, 20 people also suffer chronic health conditions. In total, 13% of the healthcare bill is spent on smoking-related issues, the report said.
Every year in the Netherlands, 20,000 people die of smoking-related diseases but while thousands of people break the habit, 25% of the population still smoke.
‘This means tobacco companies have to ensure enough new smokers (read: young children who start smoking) to keep the figures stable,’ the Eindspel Tabak foundation says on its website. ‘The tobacco industry calls these children replacement smokers: children who have to replace the dead ones.’
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