From Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society:
A Conference Board of Canada study published today found that smoking causes more than 45,000 deaths in Canada annually, almost 1 in 5 of all deaths (18.4%) in the country. Smoking also causes, each year, $6.5 billion in direct health care costs, and $16.2 billion in total economic costs including health care costs. The study was based on data for the 2012 year.
The report outlines the devastating health burden caused by tobacco, and thus the need for aggressive government action in response.
The study found that the health burden from tobacco was higher for 2012 compared with a study a decade earlier, for 2002. There were an estimated 37,209 smoking-caused deaths in 2002 and 45,464 in 2012. Direct health care costs were $4.4 billion in 2002 and $6.5 billion in 2012. (The previous study was published by the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse in 2006).
The increased number of deaths from 2002 to 2012 was affected by a number of factors, even though smoking prevalence declined. Factors included a growing population and an ageing population. Also, several new health effects were taken into account that were not included in 2002, given the increased knowledge of smoking-related diseases. Newly added health effects include colorectal cancer and liver cancer (5,217 deaths); influenza/pneumonia/tuberculosis (1,248 deaths); diabetes mellitus (192 deaths).
The study includes a provincial breakdown for smoking-related deaths and health care costs. Attached is a summary of provincial data.
The report can be downloaded from the Conference Board website, but it requires a free registration with password.
News Release from the Conference Board.