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14.7 Bln Euros spent on treating Spanish smokers in 2008

Tue 30th Mar 2010

Those in favour of the new anti-smoking laws in Spain have revealed how the taxes collected from smokers go nowhere near covering their costs to the health service. Sources reveal that Spanish smokers are costing the Health Service over 5.5 Billion euros every year.

The President of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery, said on Monday that the costs of treating smoking related ailments in 2008 stood at 14.7 billion, but that the contribution from taxes on tobacco in that period reached only 9.26 billion.

During the same year the Government paid over 6.5 billion to treat just the five main illnesses associated with smoking alone - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; asthma; lung cancer; and heart and brain diseases.

The estimated ‘value' of smoking to Spanish businesses was estimated at 7.84 billion Euros - a loss of productivity at work due to smoking breaks counts for 76%, while 20% is down to extra associated cleaning and decoration costs, and the remainder in absenteeism due to related sickness.

The Government insists that all studies commenting on the economic impact of the new legislation to ban smoking in all closed public places, show that there will be no negative consequences for the hostelry sector.

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