Research

The Huge Economic Cost of Tobacco-Induced Diseases in Pakistan (Policy Brief)

This Policy Brief was written by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) in Pakistan. The policy brief uses a nationally representative survey to estimate the economic burden of three major smoking-attributable diseases: cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory; and to estimate the total economic costs of all smoking-attributable diseases. The researchers find that the total costs of all smoking-attributable diseases and deaths in Pakistan in 2019 amount to 615.07 billion (US$ 3.85 billion), with indirect costs making up around 70% of the total. The direct costs account for a significant portion of Pakistan's total health expenditures: 8.3%. The total costs of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases are Rs 437.76 billion (US$ 2.74 billion), or 71% of the total smoking-induced costs. The study also finds that rural residents, males, and those in the 35-64 age group bear the majority of these costs. These economic costs of smoking-attributable diseases are over five times the tax revenue collected by the tobacco industry, which raised only Rs 120 billion in the same year. The policy brief recommends that tobacco taxes are increased to decrease consumption, while raising additional revenue to cover the costs associated with smoking. 

A corresponding Report can be found here