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Prev Med. 2000 Dec;31(6):641-8.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of a family physician delivered smoking cessation program.

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Department of Dental Public Health & Oral Health Services Research, King's College, London, United Kingdom.



The objectives were to present a cost-effectiveness analysis of a smoking cessation program delivered by physicians and compare results to other smoking cessation interventions.


Retrospective effectiveness figures from a previous evaluation of the smoking cessation program were supplemented with estimates based on researched assumptions. Net abstinence rates were determined for smokers, depending on their stage of readiness to quit, that is, "prepared," "contemplative," and "precontemplative," leading to an assessment of the number of smokers achieving abstinence as a result of the Smokescreen intervention. Costs were calculated from the perspectives of smokers, family physicians, organizers, trainers, and all parties combined. Assumptions were varied with a sensitivity analysis.


Baseline costs per additional abstainer were $183 based on physicians' intervention costs at 1995 prices. This is the figure most comparable to previously conducted economic evaluations of smoking cessation interventions. Sensitivity analysis varying the perspective and under optimistic and pessimistic assumptions about effectiveness produced a wide variety of estimates. The decision to include or exclude training costs had a particularly important bearing on the estimates. However, under reasonable assumptions the cost per additional quitter compares favorably to smoking and other medical and health care interventions worldwide.


The program appears cost-effective when compared to other smoking cessation and health promotion interventions and illustrates the potential for retrospective cost-effectiveness analysis of interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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