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Economics of tobacco

The industry can no longer dispute the evidence that tobacco is lethal and addictive, so its focus shifted to pseudo-economic arguments against regulation.

The ASH Tobacconomics report rebuts Big Tobacco’s arguments that tobacco legislation leads to increased smuggling, damaging legal sales and government revenues, while not reducing smoking prevalence.

ASH analyses of national datasets demonstrate the high cost of smoking to society. In 2022 the estimated economic cost of smoking in England was £17 billion, including circa £2.4bn in healthcare, £1.2bn in social care and £13.2 in lost productivity. For more information see the ASH Ready Reckoner and Health and Inequalities dashboard. In 2018, the global cost of smoking was estimated to be US$1436 billion.