A cost‐benefit analysis of smoking, using an attributable risk approach, has been carried out for Canada and for three regions within Canada. The total cost of the consequences of tobacco use—in terms of extra deaths, disability, hospitalization, physician services, and fire losses due to tobacco use—in all cases exceeded the total consumer expenditure for tobacco products. The excess was estimated to have a range from $14 to $127 (1983 Canadian dollars) per person per year. This represents the amount that an individual in society would gain, on average, if tobacco use was eliminated from the society for one year. Tobacco use was also found to be responsible for 12 to 17 per cent of all adult deaths, 4 to 5 per cent of all adult disability days, 12 to 14 per cent of all days of hospitalization, and 2 to 3 per cent of all physician visits. Copyright © 1988 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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