The huge financial burden of smokers in Kirklees has been revealed at £99m – more than £230 per resident – a report has found.
The cost of caring for critically ill smokers in their homes has been revealed by charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health).
The study, the first to estimate the cost of smoking to the social care system, show Kirklees Council is being forced to fork out £4.8m to look after just 302 people – almost £16,000 per person.
A further £3.6m is spent by patients themselves.
The charity said current smokers over 50-years-old were twice as likely to need help with day-to-day living and on average needed care nine years earlier than non-smokers.
Regional figures show more than £71m is spent on social care across Yorkshire and ASH has said the multi-million pound figures could even be higher because there are no figures available for what councils spend on those aged under 50.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH commented: “From next April, when the Care Act 2014 becomes law, councils will also have to fund the extra social care costs of preventative measures in order to reduce the need for care in people’s homes – this at a time when they face further cuts to their budgets.
“Investing in tobacco control and supporting smokers to quit will have to be high on the list of preventative measures to enable councils to cut their social care bills in the future.
“Local authorities are facing a financial squeeze that makes effective and targeted spending on preventative services all the more important.”
Clr Jonathan Owen, Yorkshire and Humber Regional Health Lead, said: “For every person who dies from smoking, 20 are living with a smoking-related illness.
“This research allows us to quantify that impact, not just on local authority funded services but also on our local communities.
“Smokers not only die younger but need care on average nine years earlier than non-smokers.
“Local support to help people quit and to reduce the number of young people taking up smoking is vital.”
Meanwhile figures from 2013 for Kirklees also reveal the heavy price of smoking related accidents and picking up smokers’ cigarette butts and packaging.
They show that cigarette breaks cost the local economy £39m while the sick days caused by smoking related illnesses cost a further £9m.
Lost economic output from smokers’ dieing prematurely is estimated at more than £22m, including the deaths of passive smokers.
The fire service has said about £4m of its Kirklees budget goes on smoking related blazes while the cost of clearing smokers’ litter has been judged at a further £3.2m.
The report revealed a shortfall in funding of more than £23m as each year smokers in Kirklees contributes roughly £77m in tax to the Government.