Health and Economic Implications of a Work-Site Smoking-Cessation Program: A Simulation Analysis


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Abstract

In this article, we examine the health and economic implications of a workplace smoking-cessation program by using a simulation model that includes, among its novel features, consideration of long-term as well as short-term implications and evaluation of the effects of employee turnover on benefits derived by both the firm and the broader community. As a result of employee turnover, approximately half of the program-generated benefits are realized by the community outside the firm. Still, smoking cessation is a very sound economic investment for the firm, and is particularly profitable when long-term benefits are included, with an eventual benefit-cost ratio of 8.75. Saving life-years at a cost of $894 each, the program is more cost-effective than most of the conventional medical care covered by the firm's insurance. Nevertheless, the intervention successfully addresses only a fraction of the costs that smoking imposes on the firm.

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