Smoking is costing the England’s local authorities £760 million a year in social care, according to a Press Association report published in The Guardian and citing a new report.
The report urges the government to force tobacco companies to ‘make a greater contribution to mitigating that harm’.
The all-party parliamentary group on smoking and health says that local authorities in England are struggling to fund stop-smoking services because of financial cuts by central government.
The study, which includes Action on Smoking and Health data, said tobacco manufacturers should make a greater contribution to mitigating the harm caused by their products.
It said the four major tobacco manufacturers remained among the most profitable companies on earth, so they could afford to make this contribution.
The Press Association report said that the cost of smoking in England was thought to be at least £12.9 billion, including lost productivity costs and paying for National Health Service and social care.
But Simon Clark, the director of the smokers’ group Forest, was quoted as describing the suggestion that smoking was contributing to the social care crisis as nonsense.
“Smoking rates are at their lowest ever level, yet smokers still contribute £12 billion a year in tobacco taxation, a sum that far exceeds the alleged cost of treating smoking-related diseases or providing social care,” he said.