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Thorax. 2010 Aug;65(8):711-8. doi: 10.1136/thx.2009.131631.

Long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions in patients with COPD.

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  • 1Institute for Medical Technology Assessment, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to estimate the long-term (cost-) effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


A systematic review was performed of randomised controlled trials on smoking cessation interventions in patients with COPD reporting 12-month biochemical validated abstinence rates. The different interventions were grouped into four categories: usual care, minimal counselling, intensive counselling and intensive counselling + pharmacotherapy ('pharmacotherapy'). For each category the average 12-month continuous abstinence rate and intervention costs were estimated. A dynamic population model for COPD was used to project the long-term (cost-) effectiveness (25 years) of 1-year implementation of the interventions for 50% of the patients with COPD who smoked compared with usual care. Uncertainty and one-way sensitivity analyses were performed for variations in the calculation of the abstinence rates, the type of projection, intervention costs and discount rates.


Nine studies were selected. The average 12-month continuous abstinence rates were estimated to be 1.4% for usual care, 2.6% for minimal counselling, 6.0% for intensive counselling and 12.3% for pharmacotherapy. Compared with usual care, the costs per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained for minimal counselling, intensive counselling and pharmacotherapy were euro 16 900, euro 8200 and euro 2400, respectively. The results were most sensitive to variations in the estimation of the abstinence rates and discount rates.


Compared with usual care, intensive counselling and pharmacotherapy resulted in low costs per QALY gained with ratios comparable to results for smoking cessation in the general population. Compared with intensive counselling, pharmacotherapy was cost saving and dominated the other interventions.

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