Features Monday, August 18, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 18, 2014 | 4.56 pm IST The economic burden of treating tobacco related diseases is far higher than the revenues generated by tobacco products, a government supported study has found. According to the study titled Economic Burden of Tobacco Related Diseases in India, treatment of tobacco related diseases is 1.04 lakh crore whereas the central excise revenue from all tobacco products is just 17 percent of this sum.  Carried out by the Public Health Foundation of India, the study is supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organization Country Office for India. This figure is calculated for the year 2011 for people in the 35-69 age group. Tobacco related diseases include cancer, cardio-vascular disease, tuberculosis, and respiratory diseases.  The study found that the major chunk of these economic costs – 91 percent – could be attributed to men, while women formed the rest.  Another key finding of the study is that four states – West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra – contributed to around 60 percent of the economic burden for cardio-vascular disease linked with tobacco use. For cancer, it was West Bengal, UP and Tamil Nadu which formed 52 percent of the economic costs.  An important comparison that the report makes is to look at these figures in terms of the Gross Domestic Product. It found that the economic burden on the country due to tobacco related health risks (1.04 lakh crore) formed 1.6 percent of the GDP. This figure is more than 12 percent of both central and state governments’ expenditures on health combined, for the year 2011-12. Recommendations The study “strongly supports” the government’s efforts to prohibit the manufacture and sale of smokeless tobacco and chewing tobacco. It also recommended that the government improve the implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COPTA).

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