Smoking costs not only lives, but also more than 1 trillion U.S. dollars annually, according to a newly published report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
The global report, published in The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control, found that the tobacco industry and the deadly impact of its products cost the world's economies more than 1 trillion dollars annually in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity.
The findings also pointed out that currently around 6 million people die annually as a result of tobacco use, with most living in developing countries.
"The economic impact of tobacco on countries, and the general public, is huge, as this new report shows," said Oleg Chestnov, WHO's assistant director-general for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.
Researchers noted in the report that tobacco control will have only a modest impact on tobacco-related employment, and will not lead to net job losses.
To save lives, the WHO recommended a list of measures, including increasing taxes and prices on tobacco products and restricting marketing efforts.
According to the organization, globally there are 1.1 billion tobacco smokers aged 15 or older, with around 80 percent living in low-and middle-income countries.