SMOKING costs the NHS more than £5 billion a year – up to five times the previously accepted figure, researchers have said.
Previous studies put the cost of smoking to the NHS at between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion in 1991. But the new analysis pushes this figure to £5.17 billion in 2005/06 and the researchers believe this is still an underestimate. It equates to £571,000 an hour.
It does not report that tobacco duty contributes over £8 billion per year to HM Treasury. (This excludes VAT which is also payable on tobacco sales.) So who, exactly, is subsidising whom?