Objective: To assess the negative health consequences and associated costs of cigarette smoking in Germany in 2003 and to compare them with the respective results from 1993.
Methods: The number of deaths, years of potential life lost (YPLL), direct medical and indirect costs caused by active cigarette smoking in Germany in 2003 is estimated from a societal perspective. The method is similar to that applied by Welte et al, who estimated the cost of smoking in Germany in 1993. Therefore, a direct comparison of the results was possible. Methodological and data differences between these two publications and their effect on the results are analysed.
Results: In 2003, 114 647 deaths and 1.6 million YPLL were attributable to smoking. Total costs were €21.0 billion, with €7.5 billion for acute hospital care, inpatient rehabilitation care, ambulatory care and prescribed drugs; €4.7 billion for the indirect costs of mortality; and €8.8 billion for costs due to work loss days and early retirement. From 1993 to 2003, the proportionate mortality attributable to smoking remained relatively stable, rising from 13.0% to 13.4%. The smoking-attributable deaths in men is lowered by 13.7% whereas that in women increased by 45.3%. Total real direct costs rose by 35.8%, and total real indirect costs declined by 7.1%, rendering an increase of 4.7% to real total costs. Accountable factors are changes in cigarette smoking prevalence and in disease-specific mortality and morbidity, as well as a rise in general healthcare expenditure.
Conclusions: Despite the growing knowledge about the hazards of smoking, the smoking-attributable costs increased in Germany. Further, female mortality attributable to smoking is much higher than it was in 1993.
- CPS, Cancer Prevention Survey
- ICD, International Classification of Diseases
- SAF, smoking-attributable fraction
- YPLL, years of potential life lost
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Competing interests: None declared.