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Impacts of a Smoking Cessation Benefit Among Employed Populations

Halpern, Michael T. MD, PhD; Dirani, Riad PhD; Schmier, Jordana K. MA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2007 - Volume 49 - Issue 1 - p 11-21
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31802db579
Original Articles

Objective: The objective of this study was to project the health and economic impacts of providing a workplace smoking cessation benefit.

Methods: The authors conducted an update of a previously published outcomes model using recently published data and clinical trial results.

Results: In four example workplace types evaluated, coverage of a cessation benefit resulted in greater numbers of successful cessations and decreased rates of smoking-related diseases. Total savings from benefit coverage (decreased healthcare and workplace costs) exceeded costs of the benefit within 4 years. Total savings per smoker ranged from $350 to $582 at 10 years and $1152 to $1743 at 20 years. Internal rate of return ranged from 39% to 60% at 10 years.

Conclusion: Providing a workplace smoking cessation benefit results in substantial health and economic benefits with economic savings exceeding the cost of the benefit within a relatively short period.

Clinical Significance: Providing a workplace smoking cessation benefit is projected to increase the rate of smoking cessation as well as decrease the incidence of smoking-related conditions and healthcare costs. In addition, workplace cessation benefits can result in decreased absenteeism, increased productivity, and net cost savings within 4 years.

From Exponent (Dr Halpern, Ms Schmier), Alexandria, Virginia; and Pfizer (Dr Dirani), New York, NY.

CME Available for this Article at ACOEM.org

Dr Halpern is currently affiliated with the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia.

This study was funded by a research contract from Pfizer.

Views and conclusions presented in this study are the authors’ and are not necessarily those of their organizations.

Address correspondence to: Michael T. Halpern, MD, PhD, Strategic Director, Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, 1599 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30329; E-mail: michael.halpern@cancer.org

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine