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Key findings



Health and economic benefits of smoking cessation

  1. Smoking cessation will reduce smokers’ risk of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in the short and long term.
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  2. Smoking cessation is particularly important for long-term improvements in public health.
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  3. Quitting smoking will reduce the costs of health care, the loss of productivity, and other external costs caused by smoking.
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  4. Providing workplace smoking cessation coverage leads to health and economic benefits for both employers and insurers.
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Public policy interventions and their cost effectiveness

  1. Policies that promote smoking cessation are highly cost-effective, and are more cost-effective than many other public health interventions.
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  2. Higher cigarette prices reduce cigarette smoking by decreasing smoking prevalence and reducing the number of cigarettes smoked by continuing smokers.
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  3. Higher cigarette prices induce smoking cessation among adult smokers.
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  4. Higher cigarette prices are effective in reducing the initiation of regular smoking.
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  5. Cigarette tax increases are one of the most cost-effective method for promoting smoking cessation.
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  6. Pharmacotherapy, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and prescription drugs, is effective in treating tobacco dependence, increasing quit rates, and increasing long-term smoking abstinence rates in clinical trials.
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  7. Use of NRT is a cost-effective cessation method.
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  8. The demand for nicotine replacement therapies is inversely related to the price.
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  9. The demand for nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) is directly related to the level of health insurance coverage for NRT products, and inversely related to out-of-pocket costs.
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  10. The availability of NRT, and the amount of NRT consumed, have decreased demand for cigarettes and resulted in net social benefits.
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  11. The demand for NRT is inversely related to the demand for cigarettes.
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  12. Bupropion and varenicline are cost-effective therapies in smoking cessation programs.
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  13. Community-based programs that utilize the services of pharmacists and nurses are cost-effective in reducing tobacco use and improving public health.
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  14. Even brief advice by a health care professional increases the probability of a smoker quitting and, as a result, is highly cost-effective.
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  15. Workplace smoking bans reduce both smoking prevalence and smoking intensity. Workplace-based cessation programs constitute a good investment for employers. Including bupropion and varenicline in a workplace cessation program is cost-effective.
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  16. Adequate and sustained funding for comprehensive tobacco control programs is effective in reducing cigarette smoking.
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  17. Multiple call-back and other forms of follow-up counseling improves success rates of long-term cessation.
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  18. Television, radio, web, and print media advertising can all increase calls to smokers' quitlines.
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  19. Offering free NRT through a tobacco quitline may increase quitline utilization and quit rates.
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High risk populations

  1. Cessation programs for patients with smoking-related health problems are very cost effective.
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  2. Smoking in lower socioeconomic groups is more responsive to increases in price than smoking in higher economic groups.
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  3. Reductions in smoking can reduce health gaps between the rich and the poor.
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  4. Higher cigarette taxes and other tobacco control efforts reduce smoking among pregnant women. Programs targeting pregnant women are highly cost-effective.
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  5. Living in an economically deprived area can increase the difficulty of quitting smoking.
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  6. Individual smokers suffer economic hardship as a result of smoking.
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  7. Smoking cessation programs can be cost-effective even in hard-to-reach populations provided that the program is adapted to their needs and environment.
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  8. Younger (<16 years) and non-daily smokers require more cessation attempts to successfully quit than older (>16 years) or daily smokers. Older smokers appear less likely to make a cessation attempt than younger smokers, but if they do, they are much more likely to quit successfully.
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  9. Quitlines can effectively promote cessation across a wide variety of populations.
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