Jaipur, Aug 13 IANS | 3 months ago

Tobacco use and its related diseases are creating an enormous burden for Rajasthan to the tune of a whopping Rs.1,160 crore, a report said Wednesday.


The report "Economic Burden of Tobacco Related Diseases in Rajasthan" was released by NGO Rajasthan Voluntary Health Association.

"The total economic costs attributable to tobacco use in Rajasthan amounted to Rs.1,160 crore in the year 2011 for people aged 35-69, of which 70 percent was direct medical costs and 31 percent was indirect morbidity costs," it said.

The study was conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the health ministry and NGO Public Health Foundation of India.

The economic cost for four specific diseases - cardiovascular diseases, cancer, tuberculosis and respiratory disease - amounted to Rs.504 crore.

Respiratory diseases shared the highest economic burden (Rs.174 crore) on account of tobacco use, followed by cardiovascular diseases (Rs.131 crore), tuberculosis (Rs.126 crore) and cancer (Rs.73 crore).

Among the four diseases, respiratory disease contributed the highest at 32 percent of the total direct medical costs and 39 percent of the total indirect costs.

The economic cost for all diseases due to tobacco use was higher in males, expect for cancer, where the cost in females (due to smokeless tobacco) was higher at Rs.5.5 crore (compared to Rs.4 crore for males).

"A tax increase that raises prices of tobacco products by 10 percent is estimated to reduce tobacco consumption by 4-5 percent. Essentially, as tax goes up, death and disease goes down. Raising taxes on tobacco is a win-win situation. It is good for health and good for the economy," said Vikram Raghav, project director of the Rajasthan Voluntary Health Association.

(Posted on 13-08-2014)

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