The massive healthcare costs to the State in providing health services each year to ill smokers can no longer be funded solely by the State, says Liam Moloney Personal Injury Solicitor.
Mr Moloney said today “it costs the State over €1 billion per year to provide health services for smokers and it is estimated that the costs of treating smoke related illnesses to the health service over the next 10 years will be in excess of €23 billion. The Irish tax payer cannot be asked to bear these costs alone without a significant contribution from the tobacco industry”.
In 1999 a cross-party Oireachtas Committee on Health recommended that proceedings should be brought to recoup expenditure incurred in the treatment of tobacco related illnesses and other expenditure arising from such illnesses. The reports author was the former Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.
Mr Moloney continued “the State Claims Agency should immediately begin investigating the grounds for legal action against tobacco companies to force them to contribute towards ongoing healthcare costs. In the US many States have successfully sued tobacco companies resulting in multi-billion Dollar contributions towards the costs of treating ill smokers. Why should the Irish taxpayer continue to fund the treatment costs of victims of the tobacco industry?”