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Establishing, promoting, and enforcing comprehensive smoke-free policies reduce both smoking prevalence and smoking intensity and promote smoking cessation. Workplace-based cessation programs constitute a good investment for employers. Including bupropion in a workplace cessation program is cost-effective.

A recent review of evidence concluded that smoking restrictions reduce smoking prevalence rates and tobacco consumption. Smoke-free environments encourage those who want to quit to succeed and the impact is likely to grow over time.

In England, the implementation of a national smoke-free law in 2007 resulted in a significant, albeit temporary, increase in the percentage of smokers across all socioeconomic classes attempting to quit.
A US study among youth found that smoke-free bars significantly decrease the probabilities of cessation relapse and transition from light to heavy smoking among youth in the US. Data from Germany confirmed that smoke-free policies reduced smoking rates among individuals who reported regularly going to bars and restaurants.

A review of evidence on the effect of smoke-free homes concluded that these policies lead to more quit attempts and increases the probability of abstaining from smoking among adult smokers.

Workplace smoking bans reduce both smoking prevalence among adults and smoking intensity among those who continue to smoke. Workplace smoking bans in the US reduced smoking prevalence among adults by 5 percentage points while reducing cigarette consumption among continuing smokers by 10%. Smoke-free workplace policies were most effective when strong social norms against smoking helped to self-enforce these policies. The benefits of smoke free policies at work include lower insurance costs, increased productivity, lower hiring costs due to higher labor force longevity, lower building maintenance costs, and savings due to reduced employers' liabilities for the effect of second-hand smoke exposure on workers.

Workplace-based cessation programs constitute a good investment. A workplace-based cessation program in the US that consisted of two weekly meetings for a period of four weeks led to a company realizing savings in health-care costs and absenteeism, and to reductions in workplace inefficiencies. The program cost US$600 for 20 people, in addition to 12 hours of time-off for attendees. The net present value of benefits for the company was between US$2,702 and US$27,989. Another workplace smoking cessation program in the US covered bupropion and found that every US$1 spent on the program saved $5.04 to $6.48 in smoking-related health-care costs. This compares favorably to savings of between $4.10 and $4.69 for every dollar spent on workplace programs without bupropion coverage.

Evans WN, Farrelly MC, Montgomery E. Do workplace smoking bans reduce smoking?. Am Econ Rev. 1999; 89: 728-747.

Halpern M, Khan Z, Young T, Battista C. Economic model of sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride in health plan and work site smoking-cessation programs. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000; 57(15): 1421-1429

Fichtenberg CM. Glantz SA. Effect of smoke-free workplaces on smoking behavior: systematic review. BMJ. 2002; 325: 188-191.

Longo DR, Johnson JC, Kruse RL, Brownson RC, Hewett JE, Everett KD. A prospective investigation of the impact of smoking bans on tobacco cessation and relapse. Acad Health Serv Res Health Policy Meet. 2002; 19: 8.

Ross H. Economics of smoke free policies. In Lifting the smokescreen: 10 reasons for going smokefree. Smoke Free Partnership, March 2006.

IARC. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Smoke-free Policies, IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention, Volume 13, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, 2009.

Shang Ce, Smoking Transitions in intensity and frequency by teenagers and young adults (October 12, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoke-free policies reduce smoking. CDC Atlanta; 2014.

Frazer K, Callinan JE, McHugh J, van Baarsel S, Clarke A, Doherty K, Kelleher C. Legislative smoking bans for reducing harms from secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 4;2:CD005992.

Anger S, Kvasnicka M, Siedler T. One last puff? Public smoking bans and smoking behavior. J Health Econ. 2011; 30: 591-601.

Bauer JE, Hyland A, Li Q, Steger C, Cummings KM. A longitudinal assessment of the impact of smoke-free worksite policies on tobacco use. Am J Public Health. 2005;95(6):1024-1029.

Hackshaw L, McEwen A, West R, Bauld L. Quit attempts in response to smoke-free legislation in England. Tob Control. 2010;19:160-164.

Mills AL, Messer K, Gilpin EA, Pierce JP. The effect of smoke-free homes on adult smoking behavior: a review. Nicotine Tob Res. 2009;11(10):1131-41. logo
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