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: 
Dr Colette O'Neill (former staff)
Mr Alan Ó Céilleachair (former staff)
Mr Eamonn O'Leary (former staff)
Dr Paul Walsh (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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