Health care in Switzerland is funded by a mixture of taxes and health insurance premiums. Much of the insurance premiums paid are compulsory with no discounts offered to non-smokers.
According to figures recently published by the Swiss association for smoking, the annual direct medical costs of smoking are CHF 3 billion (2015), or CHF 350 per person. This sum represents 3.9% of Switzerland’s total annual health spending.
Tobacco use is the main risk factor for numerous heart and lung diseases. For example more than 80% of lung cancer cases in men 35 or older are directly linked to tobacco use, according to the report.
The CHF 3 billion medical cost is made up of CHF 1.2 billion to treat smoking-related cancer, CHF 1 billion to treat smoking-related cardiovascular disease, and CHF 0.7 billion to treat smoking-related pulmonary and respiratory diseases.
In addition, tobacco use in Switzerland adds a further CHF 2 billion to costs associated with disability and early death, bringing the total to CHF 5 billion.
Far more people die from smoking than road accidents in Switzerland. In 2015, 14.1% of those who died, died from smoking, compared to 0.4% from road accidents. Tobacco killed 9,535 people in Switzerland in 2015, while 253 died on Swiss roads.
Based on data stretching back 24 years, male smokers aged 35 to 54 die from lung cancer at 14 times the rate of those of the same age who have never smoked. Quitting reduces the risk substantially. Ex-smokers die of lung cancer at four times the rate of those who have never smoked.
It’s never too late to stop, but far better to never start.
Swiss association for smoking prevention press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now