Medical costs for smoking-related illnesses surged by nearly 50 percent in four years, a report showed Monday.
The report, which studied data compiled by the National Health Insurance Service, also showed a rapid increase in medical spending on drinking- and obesity-related diseases.
Korean patients suffering from smoking-related diseases including cerebral disorders, high blood pressure and lung cancer spent over 1.56 trillion won ($1.4 billion) in 2011, up 48.7 percent from 1.05 trillion won in 2007, according to the report released by the Health Insurance Policy Research Institute.
Medical spending on drinking-related illnesses increased 42.7 percent from 1.7 trillion won in 2007 to 2.43 trillion won in 2011. Medical costs of diseases related to obesity also jumped 41.9 percent to 2.6 trillion won in the same year.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)