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Use of NRT is a cost-effective cessation method.



Estimates of the cost-effectiveness of a global policy to make NRT freely available to smokers interested in quitting predict that 1 million smoking-attributable deaths could be averted if this policy resulted in a reduction in smoking prevalence by 0.5 percentage points. Assuming this effectiveness of providing free NRT, generating one DALY would cost about US$1,917. If providing free NRT would reduce smoking prevalence by 2.5%, five million deaths would be averted at a cost of only US$358 per DALY. The cost per DALY is lower in low- and middle-income countries (US$280–870) compared to high-income countries (US$750–7206).

A study across six high-income Western countries - Canada, France, Spain, Switzerland, the US, and the UK - found that, while the cost-effectiveness of tobacco dependence pharmacotherapies (such as nicotine gum, inhaler, patch) varied significantly, the results are favorable compared to common preventive pharmacotherapies which are used for other conditions. Meta-analyses have found the NRT successfully aids cessation in around 7% of all smokers, those of whom would not be able to otherwise quit without the medication. For all of these reasons and more, the most comprehensive review of the literature on NRT to date has termed such pharmacotherapy a “highly cost-effective life-preserving medication.



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Laxminarayan R, Chow J, Shahid-Salles SA
. Intervention Cost-Effectiveness: Overview of Main Messages. In: Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, Alleyne G, Claeson M, Evans DB, Jha P, Mills A, Musgrove P, editors. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition. Washington (DC): World Bank; 2006. Chapter 2.

Stead LF, Perera R, Bullen C, Mant D, Hartmann-Boyce J, Cahill K, Lancaster T. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD000146.pub4.

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