To estimate the tobacco-attributable costs of diseases separately for smoked and smokeless tobacco use in India.
The prevalence-based attributable-risk approach was used to estimate the economic cost of tobacco using healthcare expenditure data from the National Sample Survey, a nationally representative household sample survey conducted in India in 2004. Four major categories of tobacco-related disease-tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms-were considered.
Direct medical costs of treating tobacco related diseases in India amounted to $907 million for smoked tobacco and $285 million for smokeless tobacco. The indirect morbidity costs of tobacco use, which includes the cost of caregivers and value of work loss due to illness, amounted to $398 million for smoked tobacco and $104 million for smokeless tobacco. The total economic cost of tobacco use amounted to $1.7 billion. Tuberculosis accounted for 18% of tobacco-related costs ($311 million) in India. Of the total cost of tobacco, 88% was attributed to men.
The cost of tobacco use was many times more than the expenditures on tobacco control by the government of India and about 16% more than the total tax revenue from tobacco. The tobacco-attributable cost of tuberculosis was three times higher than the expenditure on tuberculosis control in India. The economic costs estimated here do not include the costs of premature mortality from tobacco use, which is known to comprise roughly 50% to 80% of the total economic cost of tobacco in many countries.