Smoking alone is responsible for almost 4% of the country’s medical bill and 14% of deaths, according to a Swiss study.
A research study published on Monday by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences estimates that in 2015 tobacco consumption generated direct medical costs of CHF3 billion ($3.03 billion). This can be broken up into CHF1.2 billion for the treatment of cancer, CHF1 billion for cardiovascular diseases and CHF0.7 billion for respiratory illnesses.
In addition, the Swiss economy loses around CHF2 billion a year due to illness and premature death among the workforce as a result of tobacco consumption.
In 2015, tobacco consumption in Switzerland caused a total of 9,535 deaths, or 14.1% of all deaths in that year. By way of comparison: in the same year, 253 people died in road accidents and 2,500 died as a result of the flu.
Men accounted for just under two-thirds (64%) of tobacco-related deaths and overall most of the smoking-related deaths (44%) were due to cancer. Other common causes of death among smokers were cardiovascular as well as lung and respiratory diseases, with 35% and 21% of deaths respectively.
Smokers aged 35 to 54 were fourteen times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers within the same age group.
The study was commissioned by the Swiss Association for Smoking Prevention. The Swiss parliament is due to discuss regulations on tobacco advertising in the autumn session.