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E Quah, KC Tan, SLC Saw, JS Yong
Correspondence: A/Prof Euston Quah, firstname.lastname@example.org
This study provides estimates for the cost of smoking in Singapore in 1997.A first attempt for Singapore, the paper reports on two different methods used, namely, the human capital approach and the demographic approach. These two measures are similar in that they compare the economic cost of smoking in the actual situation with the hypothetical alternative where there had been no smoking. The direct cost of smoking includes the amount spent on hospital care for five main diseases related to smoking whilst the indirect cost includes the value of lost income. The mortality cost of smoking is derived from the aetiological fractions of these diseases. The results from the human capital approach show that the social cost of smoking in 1997 ranged from S$673 million to S$839 million. Assuming there has been no smoking since 1990, calculations from the demographic approach indicate that national output would have increased by S$614 million in 1998. Nonetheless, the results from both approaches show that most of the cost of smoking is incurred by males.
Keywords: smoking, social cost, mortality, demography, human capital
Singapore Med J 2002; 43(7): 340-344