Objective To estimate the economic burden of diseases and deaths attributable to bidi smoking in India for persons aged 30–69 years.
Methods The National Sample Survey data on healthcare expenditures, data on bidi smoking prevalence from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey and relative risks of all-cause mortality from bidi smoking are used to estimate the economic burden of diseases and deaths attributable to bidi smoking in India using a prevalence-based attributable-risk approach. Costs are estimated under the following heads: (1) direct medical expenditure of treating diseases; (2) indirect morbidity costs and (3) indirect mortality costs of premature deaths.
Findings The total economic costs attributable to bidi smoking from all diseases and deaths in India in the year 2017 for persons aged 30–69 years amount to INR805.5 billion (US$12.4 billion), of which 20.9% is direct and 79.1% is indirect cost. Men bear 93.7% of the total costs.
Conclusion The total annual economic costs of bidi smoking amount to approximately 0.5% of India’s gross domestic product, while the excise tax revenue from bidi is only half a per cent of its economic costs. The direct medical costs of bidi smoking amount to 2.24% of total health expenditure. Since the poor bear a disproportionately large share of the economic costs of bidi smoking, the unregulated use of bidi would potentially push more households in India, which incur heavy out-of-pocket expenditures on healthcare, into poverty.
- low/middle income country
- non-cigarette tobacco products
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