Smoking costing social care system £1.4bn a year, study finds


Smoking is costing the social care system in England £1.4 billion a year, a survey claims.

Health charity Action on Smoking on Health (ASH) estimates that local authorities spend £760 million on social care for those affected by smoking-related illnesses, while £630 million is paid by individuals or families who self-fund private care.

The total comes despite the number of people smoking having fallen from around 11 million to 9 million in the past eight years, according to Public Health England.

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Bob Blackman MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health said: “Helping people to stop smoking is not just good for their health, but for the wellbeing of their families and friends. It is also good for reducing the costs of social care in the years to come, freeing much needed public money that could be used for other purposes.

“This is an important message that should be clearly understood by decision-makers in every local authority with responsibility for social care provision.”

Using the data from Ash, vaping specialists looked at the cost of smoking in different regions.

It found that Greater Manchester is the worst hit, with £79.3 million spent on social care for those affected by smoking-related illnesses.

In West Yorkshire, £64.9 million is spent on social care and in the West Midlands, smoking-related illnesses are costing the social care sector £62.9 million.

The counties of Oxfordshire (£11.9m), Dorset (£11.6m) and Buckinghamshire (£9.7m) are hit with the lowest costs to social care per year, the study found.

Vapourcore said London was removed from the study to avoid biased results.

Tags : ASHcare costsFundingsmokingsocial care costs
Sarah Clarke

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