Zambia Tobacco Control Investment Case

January 28, 2021

In Zambia, about 16 percent of individuals 15 and older currently use some form of tobacco, meaning 1.6 million Zambians are at a substantially increased risk of morbidity and early mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, and many other tobacco-attributable diseases. In 2016, tobacco was responsible for the deaths of over 7,100 Zambians or roughly 6 percent of all deaths, costing Zambia nearly 140 lives every week. Each year, tobacco costs the Zambian economy ZMW 2.8 billion, equivalent to 1.2 percent of its GDP.

The investment case indicates that fully implementing and enforcing the selected WHO FCTC priority interventions is a highly cost-effective way to reduce the burden of tobacco. If all six tobacco control interventions are implemented and enforced, the Government will be responsible for saving 40,349 lives over 15 years, and could save ZMW 12.4 billion over 15 years. Implementation and enforcement of the six tobacco control measures will help avert ZMW 685 million in healthcare expenditures over 15 years.

This tobacco control investment case was developed jointly by UNDP, the WHO FCTC Secretariat, WHO and the Ministry of Health as part of the FCTC 2030 project.