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Economic cost of tobacco smoking and secondhand smoke exposure at home in Thailand

Introduction

Smoking is an important public health concern. This study is the first that attempts to estimate the economic cost of smoking and secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure at home in Thailand.

Method

A prevalence-based cost of illness approach following the guideline by WHO is employed.

Result

In 2017, the direct morbidity cost attributable to smoking and SHS exposure at home in Thailand was estimated to be at least US$265.97 million and US$23.66 million, respectively. Indirect morbidity costs from workday loss totalling US$25.04 million can be linked to smoking, while US$1.72 million was the result of SHS exposure at home. Smoking-attributable premature deaths resulted in an opportunity loss to the country equivalent to US$2.48 billion, while the figure was US$181.41 million for SHS exposure at home. Total years of life lost due to smoking and SHS-attributable premature deaths are estimated to have been at least 390 955 years for males and 82 536 years for females. The total economic cost from both types of tobacco exposure amounted to US$2.98 billion, equivalent to 17.41% of Thailand’s current health expenditure or 0.65% of its gross domestic product in 2017.

Conclusion

Smoking imposed a substantial economic burden on Thailand in 2017. Seven per cent of this cost was imposed on non-smokers sharing a residence with smokers. Females bore 80% of this SHS-related cost. The findings call for prompt responses from public health agencies in Thailand to launch effective tobacco control policies.

  • secondhand smoke
  • smoking caused disease
  • economics

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