Estimates of the health service costs of cancers associated with smoking, overweight and obesity, and alcohol intake in Ireland during 2016

Publication date: 
December, 2020
Related staff: 
Mr Alan Ó Céilleachair (former staff)
The estimated health service cost of cancer in Ireland in 2016 attributable to smoking, alcohol intake and overweight and obesity was €140 million

These figures are based on a combination of NCRI cancer incidence data, recently published NCRI estimates on numbers of cancers attributable to modifiable risk factors, and estimates of health service costs per cancer case from a range of published studies.

Over €95 million was estimated to be attributable to smoking. Lung cancer was the cancer type with the highest cost attributable to modifiable risk factors in Ireland with a total of €62 million, all of which was attributable to smoking.

It should be emphasised that these costs are underestimates of total costs; they include health service costs only and do not reflect the many other economic and societal impacts of cancer. For this reason, and because these estimates use a variety of sources for costings, further research is warranted on the total costs of potentially preventable cancer in Ireland.

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