Tobacco costs the Netherlands up to €40 billion annually

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Smoking costs Dutch society between 21 and 43 billion euros per year. That amounts to about 2 thousand euros per Netherlands citizen per year, according to a study done by SEO Economic Research, NOS reports.

The study was commissioned by Stichting Eindspel Tabak, Foundation Endgame Tobacco in English. The foundation is working towards the gradual implementation of a total ban on the sale of tobacco in the country.

For this study, SEO looked at the costs and benefits of smoking on Dutch society. Costs include the value of life-years lost, loss of life quality, loss of production and healthcare costs. While the benefits include, among others, state pensions that do not need to be paid. Due to the fact that there are many uncertainties in these numbers, the SEO set three scenarios - a low cost, a high cost and a medium cost - and concluded that smokers cost the Netherlands between 21.1 billion and 43.2 billion euros every year.

According to the researchers, 25 percent of the Dutch population smokes. Most pick up smoking at a young age and then never quit. An average of 20 thousand people in the country die each year from the effects of smoking. An average smoker dies ten years earlier than someone who never smoked.

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