New study highlights Smoking costs 45,400 lives, $16.2B in a year in Canada

Although Canada’s smoking rate is falling, the numbers of deaths and the cost to the economy continue to rise.

A new study from the Conference Board of Canada suggests there are more than 45,400 deaths in Canada attributable to smoking, and the habit cost the economy $16.2 billion in 2012.

Those costs include health care, tobacco enforcement, lost productivity and lost years of life attributable to smoking, with health care alone costing Canada $6.5 billion.

Thy Dinh, director of health economics and policy at the Conference Board says that the impact of smoking is a slow burn.

The smoking rate fell by about 20% from 2005 to 2015, but people who began smoking 30 to 50 years ago are still dying. And the big bulge of baby boomers has reached the age when a lifetime of smoking is starting to show its effects.