Cost-effectiveness of pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation: a literature review and a decision analytic analysis

Med Decis Making. Sep-Oct 2002;22(5 Suppl):S26-37. doi: 10.1177/027298902237708.


To evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion SR for smoking cessation, the authors reviewed published studies and developed a decision analytic model from the UK National Health Services perspective. Irrespective of the methods or assumptions involved, the results of published studies consistently indicated that NRT for smoking cessation is cost-effective. No published studies have evaluated the relative cost-effectiveness of bupropion SR for smoking cessation. The results of the decision analyses indicated that, as compared with advice or counseling alone, the incremental cost per life-years saved is about $1,441-$3,455 for NRT, $920-$2,150 for bupropion SR, and $1,282-$2,836 for NRT plus bupropion SR. The cost-effectiveness of adding NRT and bupropion SR to advice or counseling for smoking cessation is better than many other accepted health care interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bupropion / economics*
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Counseling / economics
  • Counseling / standards
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / economics*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Drug Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / economics*
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / mortality
  • Smoking Cessation / economics*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Value of Life


  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Bupropion
  • Nicotine