Cost-Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Approaches in Emergency Departments

Ted R. Miller, Mark B. Johnson, James D. Dziura, June Weiss, Kelly M. Carpenter, Lauretta E. Grau, Michael V. Pantalon, Lorien Abroms, Linda M. Collins, Benjamin A. Toll, Steven L. Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Americans of lower SES use tobacco products at disproportionately high rates and are over-represented as patients of emergency departments. Accordingly, emergency department visits are an ideal time to initiate tobacco treatment and aftercare for this vulnerable and understudied population. This research estimates the costs per quit of emergency department smoking-cessation interventions and compares them with those of other approaches. Methods: Previously published research described the effectiveness of 2 multicomponent smoking cessation interventions, including brief negotiated interviewing, nicotine replacement therapy, quitline referral, and follow-up communication. Study 1 (collected in 2010–2012) only analyzed the combined interventions. Study 2 (collected in 2017–2019) analyzed the intervention components independently. Costs per participant and per quit were estimated separately, under distinct intervention with dedicated staff and intervention with repurposed staff assumptions. The distinction concerns whether the intervention used dedicated staff for delivery or whether time from existing staff was repurposed for intervention if available. Results: Data were analyzed in 2021–2022. In the first study, the cost per participant was $860 (2018 dollars), and the cost per quit was $11,814 (95% CI=$7,641, $25,423) (dedicated) and $227 per participant and $3,121 per quit (95% CI=$1,910, $7,012) (repurposed). In Study 2, the combined effect of brief negotiated interviewing, nicotine replacement therapy, and quitline cost $808 per participant and $6,100 per quit (dedicated) (95% CI=$4,043, $12,274) and $221 per participant and $1,669 per quit (95% CI=$1,052, $3,531) (repurposed). Conclusions: Costs varied considerably per method used but were comparable with those of other smoking cessation interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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