Economic evaluation of five tobacco control policies across seven European countries

Teresa Leão, Julian Perelman, Luke Clancy, Martin Mlinarić, Jaana M Kinnunen, Paulien A W Nuyts, Nora Mélard, Arja Rimpela, Vincent Lorant, Anton E Kunst

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Economic evaluations of tobacco control policies targeting adolescents are scarce. Few take into account real-world, large-scale implementation costs; few compare cost-effectiveness of different policies across different countries. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of five tobacco control policies (non-school bans, including bans on sales to minors, bans on smoking in public places, bans on advertising at points-of-sale, school smoke-free bans, and school education programmes), implemented in 2016 in Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Portugal.

METHODS: Cost-effectiveness estimates were calculated per country and per policy, from the State perspective. Costs were collected by combining quantitative questionnaires with semi-structured interviews on how policies were implemented in each setting, in real practice. Short-term effectiveness was based on the literature, and long-term effectiveness was modelled using the DYNAMO-HIA tool. Discount rates of 3.5% were used for costs and effectiveness. Sensitivity analyses considered 1% to 50% short-term effectiveness estimates, highest cost estimates, and undiscounted effectiveness.

FINDINGS: Non-school bans cost up to €253.23 per healthy life year, school smoking bans up to €91.87 per healthy life year, and school education programmes up to €481.35 per healthy life year. Cost-effectiveness depended on the costs of implementation, short-term effectiveness, initial smoking rates, dimension of the target population, and weight of smoking in overall mortality and morbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: All five policies were highly cost-effective in all countries according to the World Health Organization thresholds for public health interventions. Cost-effectiveness was preserved even when using the highest costs and most conservative effectiveness estimates.

IMPLICATIONS: Economic evaluations using real-world data on tobacco control policies implemented at a large scale are scarce, especially considering non-school bans targeting adolescents. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of five tobacco control policies implemented in 2016 in Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Portugal. This study shows that all five policies were highly cost effective considering the WHO threshold, even when considering the highest costs and most conservative effectiveness estimates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2019

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