Switzerland: Social costs of addictions estimated at 7.7 billion francs


The biggest costs are linked to tobacco, ahead of those linked to alcohol and drugs, according to a study by the FOPH published on Tuesday.

The costs related to tobacco represent 3.9 billion francs.


Addictions cost society 7.7 billion francs a year. Smoking, which causes one in seven deaths in Switzerland, tops these expenses, reveals a study published Tuesday by the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP).

The costs related to tobacco represent 3.9 billion francs. Follow those related to alcohol (nearly 2.8 billion) and drugs (0.9 billion). Gambling addiction costs at least 61 million francs. Other addictions could not be taken into account for lack of data.

Most of the costs, around 4.8 billion francs, are financed by the state and social insurance. The remaining 2.9 billion francs are the responsibility of the companies. Relative to the population, the costs reach 901 francs per inhabitant, including 457 francs due to tobacco, 335 francs to alcohol, 109 francs to drugs and 7 francs to gambling addiction.

Diseases to be treated

The direct costs of addictions are mainly reflected in expenses for the treatment of illnesses, accidents and injuries. The costs incurred by the prosecution of offenses and by material damage are added to this, as do the loss of resources suffered in professional life by absences due to illness, reduced performance or premature death.

In the case of tobacco, it is health expenditure which, with a share of about 80%, weighs the most, smoking being the cause of many diseases. For alcohol, three quarters of the costs come from lost productivity.

In terms of economic production, the costs of addictions represent 1.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland, of which 0.4% for alcohol consumption, 0.6% for tobacco consumption and 0, 1% for drug use.


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