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Positive return on investment seen for MFH's tobacco initiative

A new report from CPHSS shows that the benefits of the Missouri Foundation for Health’s (MFH) Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Initiative (TPCI) outweighed the costs during 2005 through 2011.
CPHSS staff working on the external evaluation of TPCI conducted cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses to assess the Foundation’s return on investment during the time period of 2005 through 2011. We calculated the costs, benefits, and cost analysis summary measures for all TPCI strategies individually and together. We compared the costs and benefits of TPCI to the absence of the initiative.
The combined benefits for all TPCI strategies resulted in 14,491 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained and lifetime medical care savings of $90.8 million. Each QALY gained cost $1,358.58 and the benefit-cost ratio was 4.61. Across the individual strategies, the Tobacco Policy Change strategy resulted in the lowest cost per QALY gained and highest benefit-cost ratio. Smokefree workplace policies produced twice as many QALYs gained as in-person and Quitline cessation services and 8 times more than school-based prevention programs. A tobacco tax increase in 2006 would have resulted in 100,298 QALYs gained and almost $586 million in lifetime medical care savings. Had the 2006 tobacco tax ballot measure passed, each QALY gained because of TPCI would have cost $171.51 and the overall TPCI benefit-cost ratio would have been 34.4.
Based on these findings, we recommend that the public health community advocate for tobacco tax increases and emphasize policy interventions as a main component of a comprehensive tobacco control effort. This analysis helps identify the impact of various program components relative to their cost, not just the overall impact and cost of an effort.  Analyzing the components of a comprehensive program in this context allows for more effective planning and resource allocation.

View report.

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