The Economic Burden of Tobacco related diseases in India

Tobacco products are damaging not just to the individuals who consume them, but also the country.

A study has put a monetary value to the consequences of tobacco consumption in India. The main findings are presented below:

1. The total economic cost from all tobacco related diseases in 2011 (35-69 years age in India) was Rs. 1,04,500 crores [Rs. 1,045 billion] (US$22.4 billion).  

To put things in perspective, the Food subsidy bill for 2011-12 was seen at 605.7 billion rupees. Thus, the total money lost due to tobacco related diseases in 2011 would have been sufficient to fund India’s food subsidy bill for almost two years.

2. Direct medical costs (hospital care and treatment) of tobacco attributable diseases were Rs. 16,800 crores [Rs. 168 billion] (US$ 3.6 billion)- this was more than the total estimated revenue gained from indirect tax proposals during 2011-12 (Rs. 113 billion).

Indirect costs (due to sickness) were Rs. 14,700 crores [Rs. 147 billion] (US$ 3.1 billion).

The cost from premature death was Rs. 73,000 crores [Rs. 730 billion] (US$ 15.6 billion)

3. In decreasing order, the diseases with highest burden are:

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs): Rs. 3,600 crores

Respiratory Diseases (excluding Tuberculosis): Rs. 2,800 crores

Tuberculosis: Rs. 2,300 crores

Cancers: Rs. 1,400 crores

4. Four states (West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh) together contributed 60% of the disease burden from tobacco attributable CVD.

Three states (Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) contributed 52% of the burden due to tobacco attributable cancers.

Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal together contributed 47% of the burden from respiratory diseases.

Uttar Pradesh alone contributed 31% of the tobacco attributable tuberculosis burden.

5. The estimated cost of Rs. 1,04,500 crores economic cost of tobacco was 1.16% of the GDP.

It was 12% more than the combined state and central government expenditures on health in 2011-12.

The total central excise revenue from all tobacco products in the same year was about 17% (Rs. 17,765 crores) of the estimated economic costs of tobacco.

Useful links:

Link to the executive summary of the study (MoHFW):

Link to news article on Union budget 2011-12:

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