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Minerva Medicolegale 2014 June;134(2):75-82


language: Italian

Assessment of health costs due to tobacco smoking

De Candia G.

Libero professionista, Terlizzi, Bari, Italia


AIM: According to numerous studies, cigarette smoking is the most important cause of preventable death in many advanced economies. The main data on the cost of the health effects of smoking are presented by the World Health Organization in the world, and from the Institute of Health (ISS) in Italy. These data are presented in a largely aggregated way and lack any methodology for estimating the phenomenon. The research aims to propose an estimate of the cost of the phenomenon of smoking at national level, with the ability to export all at international level.
METHODS: The estimation uses data on the health conditions and utilization of health services carried out by ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics) between 1994 and 2005. Pieces of information on the publications on the subject of WHO and the ISS were also used.
RESULTS: The search produces an estimate of the cost of tobacco smoke in Italy with gender breakdown and employment status (employed and retired from work). A related aspect is the possibility of quantification of the costs of smoking-related diseases.
CONCLUSION: The estimated cost of smoking in Italy in the period 1994-2005 represents the first attempt based on statistical methodology to produce results within a matter hitherto considered as more of a “journalistic” topic. With this approach you can not only obtain accurate estimates of the costs related to smoking, but also to obtain estimates of all that revolves around the smoking, such as smoking-related diseases. A further step of the present research will be to detect these diseases and their impact on the national health system.

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