Health Expenditure

Health written question – answered on 7th April 2005.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of health expenditure relating to (a) nicotine, (b) alcohol and (c) illegal drug use in each of the last five years.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

Smoking costs the national health service between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion a year in England, as set out in the White Paper, Choosing Health 1 .

1 Buck D et al—University of York Centre for Health Economics. Cost effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions: Health Education Authority 1997.

The interim analytical report prepared by the strategy unit to support the production of the alcohol harm reduction strategy for England estimated the cost annually to the health service due to alcohol related harm as between £1.4 and £1.7 billion.

The Home Office research study 249, The economic and social costs of class A drug misuse in England and Wales, 2000", estimated that:

Young recreational users cost the NHS about £2 million.

The total healthcare costs for older regular users were also about £2 million.

Problem drug users are estimated to cost the NHS between £283 million and £509 million per year, in addition to the specific addiction treatment they are receiving.

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