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Public Health Rep. 2006 Mar-Apr;121(2):120-6.

Costs of a smoking cessation counseling intervention for pregnant women: comparison of three settings.

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  • 1School of Business, University of Houston Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd. MC 73, Houston TX, 77058, USA.



Although the rate of smoking among women giving birth in the United States has declined steadily from 19.5% in 1989 to 11.4% in 2002, it still far exceeds the Healthy People 2010 goal of 1%. The objective of this study was to estimate the costs of a recommended five-step smoking cessation counseling intervention for pregnant women.


Costs were compared across three settings: a clinical trial, a quit line, and a rural managed care organization. Cost data were collected from August 2002 to September 2003. Intervention costs were compared with potential neonatal cost savings from averted adverse outcomes using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Maternal and Child Health Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economics Costs software.


The costs of implementing the intervention ranged from dollar 24 to dollar 34 per pregnant smoker counseled across the three settings. Potential neonatal cost savings that could be accrued from women who quit smoking during pregnancy were estimated at dollar 881 per maternal smoker. Assuming a 30% to 70% increase over baseline quit rates, interventions could net savings up to dollar 8 million within the range of costs per pregnant smoker.


Costs may vary depending on the intensity and nature of the intervention; however, this analysis found a surprisingly narrow range across three disparate settings. Cost estimates presented here are shown to be low compared with potential cost savings that could be accrued across the quit rates that could be achieved through use of the 5A's smoking cessation counseling intervention.

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