A new study has found that cutting back on drinking and smoking could save the Australian economy more than $2 billion.
A VicHealth-backed study conducted by Deakin University found that reducing the average annual intake of 773 standard drinks per adult to 505 drinks a year, would save 38 lives and $1.2 billion. In addition, the report found that if the rate of smoking was cut from the current 23 percent of Australians to 15 percent, 5,000 deaths would be prevented and more than $900 million in health, production and leisure costs would be saved.
The report also found that when it comes to drinking, Australians top the list.
Australians drink more than Americans (more than 660 standard drinks a year), Canadians (632), Swedes (520) and Norwegians (505), the report’s researchers from Deakin University and the National Stroke Research Institute say.
Report co-author and Deakin University Health Economic Professor Rob Carter says the report is “breaking new ground in developing a model that estimates the economic benefits of the home-based activities and leisure that are essential to our daily lives.”