Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

NHS costs cut by smoking controls

  • 7 Comments

Anti-smoking campaigners Ash Scotland have hailed a new report which has found that tobacco control programmes can cut health care costs.

Chief executive Sheila Duffy said the report in The Lancet belies the “myth” that the £960 million tax revenue from tobacco sales helps to prop up the NHS.

She said: “The hard truth is that treating tobacco-related illnesses, lost productivity and other costs to the Scottish economy total £1.1 billion.

“That’s a net expense of £160 million a year, on top of the terrible human cost to the lives and health of Scottish families.”

The report outlines the benefits that Scotland has experienced since the introduction of smoke-free laws in public premises.

It stated: “Implementation of strong smoke-free laws has generally been followed by rapid decreases in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction.

“The average decline was 17% in the USA, Italy, Scotland, Canada, Ireland, France, England, and Argentina one year after the laws took effect and grew to about 30% after three years.”

It added: “In Scotland, there was a 13% decrease per year in childhood asthma admissions after the introduction of a smoke-free law.”

The Lancet report concluded: “Leaders who make a commitment to funding a global programme addressing these issues can be confident that there is good evidence showing that effective programmes not only reduce tobacco use and the attendant NCDs in the short term, but make an important contribution to curbing health-care costs and improving standards of living and human capital levels immediately, with increasing benefits over time.”

We have a NEW website just for student nurses, with everything from the usual site at a discounted price plus more. Take a look now at www.studentnursingtimes.net and subscribe for just 70p a week.

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • Here we go again, Scottish anti smoking hysteria at it's best! This, i have absolutely no doubt will be another Jill Pell heart Attack pack of fabrications where data, cherry picked I might add, is used to justify whatever it needs to supposedly justify!
    What they haven't mentioned is that it is fact that non smokers, who generally live longer, cost the NHS considerably more. So, when smoking is eradicated from this miserable country and everyone obeys the new health religion of longevity just how are the NHS going to be able to afford all this care-especially as the tobacco tax tree will have been burnt down!
    Talking of the benefits to Scotland, can Sheila Duffy please point out a person that is still living who should have died some days, weeks, months, even years ago? The only proof that stands up as concrete is an actual living person-who shouldn't be! Can this be provided? I think not.
    Of course, what Sheila Duffy does not mention is the stress & poverty caused to all those who have lost their homes, their livelyhoods, their life savings in a pub that has suffered the ultimate - closure thanks to the ban. Choice is the only answer but ASH are not going to want democracy as they are creaming the countries taxpayers for their exorbitant wages!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sheila Duffy is either misinformed or misleading us. There has not been a decease, statistically significant, in heart attacks since the smoking ban. If you care to look at the data supplied by the Scottish NHS and displayed in graphs, post ban in April 2006 heart attacks actually increased, peaking in September 2008, over 2 years later.

    http://www.isdscotlandarchive.scot.nhs.uk/isd/5779.html


    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/12/hows-that-scottish-heart-miracle-going.html

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ms Duffy mentions England and ''17%'' reduction. Is there any statistically significant reduction from the actual figures the author Dr. Anna Gilmore uses.


    Emergency AMI admissions in English hospitals

    2002/03: 61,498

    2003/04: 60,680 (a fall of 1.33%)

    2004/05: 58,803 (a fall of 3.1%)

    2005/06: 55,752 (a fall of 5.19%)

    2006/07: 53,964 (a fall of 3.21%)

    2007/08: 51,664 (a fall of 4.26%)

    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/06/latest-smoking-banheart-attack-study-is.html

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the universities of Stanford Medical School, the Wisconsin-Madison's Population Health Institute 50th Anniversary Symposium.

    They investigated 217,000 heart attack deaths, 2 million heart attacks covering all 50 states and 468 counties over an 8 year period.

    The Abstract says it all: “In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that smoking bans are not associated with statistically significant short-term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases. An analysis simulating smaller studies using subsamples reveals that large short-term increases in myocardial infarction incidence following a smoking ban are as common as the large decreases reported in the published literature. “


    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pam.20548/full

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The Rand Corporation quite rightly go on to accuse Professor Pell of publication bias.

    "Meyers, Neuberger, and He (2009) considered and discounted publication bias when reviewing the literature. Their dismissal of publication bias rests on the fact that there are some published large-sample studies, mainly from Europe, with ban effect sizes that cluster near zero. The only exception, according to Meyers, Neuberger, and He, is Pell et al. (2008) from Scotland, which is a large study with a large effect size, but also smoking prevalence levels substantially higher than the American setting. All of the published small sample size studies considered by Meyers, Neuberger, and He, all American, found large beneficial short-run effects of bans. In light of the results of our study, contrary to Meyers, Neuberger, and He, our interpretation of the evidence they presented is that it is consistent with publication bias against small studies that find zero effect of bans."

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pam.20548/full

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The Rand Corporation quite rightly go on to accuse Professor Pell of publication bias.

    "Meyers, Neuberger, and He (2009) considered and discounted publication bias when reviewing the literature. Their dismissal of publication bias rests on the fact that there are some published large-sample studies, mainly from Europe, with ban effect sizes that cluster near zero. The only exception, according to Meyers, Neuberger, and He, is Pell et al. (2008) from Scotland, which is a large study with a large effect size, but also smoking prevalence levels substantially higher than the American setting. All of the published small sample size studies considered by Meyers, Neuberger, and He, all American, found large beneficial short-run effects of bans. In light of the results of our study, contrary to Meyers, Neuberger, and He, our interpretation of the evidence they presented is that it is consistent with publication bias against small studies that find zero effect of bans."

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pam.20548/full

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The Rand Corporation quite rightly go on to accuse Professor Pell of publication bias.

    "Meyers, Neuberger, and He (2009) considered and discounted publication bias when reviewing the literature. Their dismissal of publication bias rests on the fact that there are some published large-sample studies, mainly from Europe, with ban effect sizes that cluster near zero. The only exception, according to Meyers, Neuberger, and He, is Pell et al. (2008) from Scotland, which is a large study with a large effect size, but also smoking prevalence levels substantially higher than the American setting. All of the published small sample size studies considered by Meyers, Neuberger, and He, all American, found large beneficial short-run effects of bans. In light of the results of our study, contrary to Meyers, Neuberger, and He, our interpretation of the evidence they presented is that it is consistent with publication bias against small studies that find zero effect of bans."

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pam.20548/full

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.