Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (160)

Finian McGrath

Question:

160. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health if his Chief Medical Officer will correct the evidence he gave to the health committee in December 2013 that the annual cost of smoking to the health budget is €664 million when the Irish Cancer Society recently stated that the cost is €2 billion; if the parliamentary record will be corrected on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28589/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Chief Medical Officer was quoting from a European Union Study - DG Sanco report entitled "A Study on liability and the health costs of smoking” for all EU countries.

The figures outlined in that report are as follows:

Health expenditure on smoking attributable diseases - 498 million

Productivity losses due to absenteeism - 15 million

Long-term incapacity caused by smoking attributable illnesses - 151 million

These figures total to 664 million. Given that the Chief Medical Officer was quoting from a published EU study there is no requirement to correct the parliamentary record.