Smokers with Mental Disorders Cost UK Government a Bomb!

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Sherlon office building in the centre of Sao Paulo
Sherlon local dweller who lives as a squatter in an abandoned office building, smokes a cigarette at the balkony in the centre of Sao Paulo Reuters

Smokers facing mental disorders cost the UK government approximately £2.5 billion a year, according to a research published in Tobacco Control.

The ratio of cigarette smokers with mental health issues was 50 per cent higher, and hence it is extremely important for the government to help them quit smoking. This will help the economy in revving the losses incurred from costs needed for their treatment, premature deaths and loss of productivity. "It is clear that smoking in people with mental disorders in the UK imposes a significant economic burden and therefore that the development and implementation of interventions to stop smoking in this group should be a high priority," wrote the researchers in the article published in Tobacco Control. 

"This economic case augments the ethical and clinical imperative of dealing with smoking more systemically and effectively in this group, and is over and above the health benefits of improved quality and quantity of life," they add.

The study, published online in the Tobacco Control, calculated the cost using the World Health Organisation's economics of tobacco toolkit. The findings were based on the estimate of the avoidable costs of smoking among smokers with mental problem in the United Kingdom between the year 2009 and 2010.

The cost incurred in treating people with mental disorders account for nearly 14 per cent of the total annual National Health Service (NHS) budget, and the cost to treat the smokers with neurotic and psychotic disorders came up to £719 million in 2009-10 (£320 per person). It is much higher than the amount required for general public. The researchers also found that loss of productivity (absence from work) due to smoking-related illnesses came up to an estimated £823 million and £797 million due to premature death.

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