Health and Economic Burden of Major Cancers Due to Smoking in Korea


Cigarette smoking is one of the most important public health concerns in Korea and worldwide. Anumber of studies have been conducted to measure the health and economic burden of smoking, but thesedid not reflect recent changes such as the decrease in smoking rate and the increase in the incidence ofcancer. The purpose of this study was to provide up-to-date estimates of the health and economic burden ofcancer caused by smoking and to compare the results with those of previous studies. Cancer-related burdenwas assessed with nationally representative data such as claims data from the National Health InsuranceCorporation, and cause of death records from the National Statistical Office and the Korea Health Panel. Wedetermined the smoking-attributable burden by multiplying the smoking-attributable fraction by the totalburden. As a result, the burden of major cancers due to smoking was found to be substantial despite a recentsharp decrease in smoking by the Korean population. The total economic cost reaches $2,234.0 million inmales and $870.0 million in females. Also, the health burden of cancers due to smoking is 2,038.9 disabilityadjusted life years (DALYs) per 100,000 individuals in men and 732.2 DALYs per 100,000 individuals inwomen. Among all cancers, cancers of the trachea, lungs and bronchus are the leading causes of health andeconomic burden. The huge burden caused by cancers linked to smoking makes it imperative that adequatepolicies to decrease the prevalence of smoking be developed, particularly considering the recent increase insmoking rate among women.