Estimates of effectiveness and reach for 'return on investment' modelling of smoking cessation interventions using data from England.

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Estimating 'return on investment' (ROI) from smoking cessation interventions requires reach and effectiveness parameters for interventions for use in economic models such as the EQUIPT ROI tool ( This paper describes the derivation of these parameter estimates for England that can be adapted to create ROI models for use by other countries.


Estimates were derived for interventions in terms of their reach and effectiveness in: (1) promoting quit attempts and (2) improving the success of quit attempts (abstinence for at least 12 months). The sources were systematic reviews of efficacy supplemented by individual effectiveness evaluations and national surveys.


Quit attempt rates were estimated to be increased by the following percentages (with reach in parentheses): 20% by tax increases raising the cost of smoking 5% above the cost of living index (100%); 10% by enforced comprehensive indoor public smoking bans (100%); 3% by mass media campaigns achieving 400 gross rating points (100%); 40% by brief opportunistic physician advice (21%); and 110% by use of a licensed nicotine product to reduce cigarette consumption (12%). Quit success rates were estimated to be increased by the following ratios: 60% by single-form nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) (5%); 114% by NRT patch plus a faster-acting NRT (2%);124% by prescribed varenicline (5%); 60% by bupropion (1%); 100% by nortriptyline (0%), 10) 298% by cytisine (0%); 40% by individual face-to-face behavioural support (2%); 37% by telephone support (0.5%); 88% by group behavioural support (1%); 63% by text messaging (0.5%); and 19% by printed self-help materials (1%). There was insufficient evidence to obtain reliable, country-specific estimates for interventions such as websites, smartphone applications and e-cigarettes.


Tax increases, indoor smoking bans, brief opportunistic physician advice and use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for smoking reduction can all increase population quit attempt rates. Quit success rates can be increased by provision of NRT, varenicline, bupropion, nortriptyline, cytisine and behavioural support delivered through a variety of modalities. Parameter estimates for the effectiveness and reach of these interventions can contribute to return on investment estimates in support of national or regional policy decisions.

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