Tobacco use has been determined to be very costly to society as you can see in this Harvard- World Economic Forum publication. According to a recent American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation report the annual economic burden of tobacco related illnesses exceeds total annual health expenditures in low and middle income countries. On the other hand, tackling tobacco and implementing effective evidence based tobacco control policies has been determined to be cost effective. A number of key reports from WHO, the UN Secretary General, the World Bank and The Lancet, have taken this position.
WHO economists developed a costing tool that is now available to assist countries with the planning of national tobacco control strategies (Scaling up action against noncommunicable diseases: How much will it cost?).
Investment in FCTC implementation as a priority NCD prevention measure has been proven to be affordable, as well as effective and cost-effective and for this reason is recommended as a “best buy” priority intervention.
There is no reason for governments to stall on the implementation of the proven tobacco control policies we know save lives while saving money.