Objective: To analyze the efficiency of a school-based smoking prevention program in Barcelona (PASE.bcn program).
Methods: A cost-benefit analysis was performed. As costs we included those corresponding to the design and implementation of the program. As benefits we considered healthcare costs and the productivity losses avoided. This study was conducted from a societal perspective, and the estimations of costs and benefits related to 2005.
Results: Assuming an effectiveness of 1%, the PASE.bcn program would achieve a total benefit of 1,558,311.46euro. The healthcare benefits per prevented smoker were 1997.57euro, and the indirect benefits per prevented smoker were 21,260.80euro. Given the total cost of the school-based program (68,526.03euro), the cost-benefit ratio was 22.74.
Conclusions: From a societal perspective, the benefits of school-based tobacco prevention programs, in terms of healthcare costs and productivity losses avoided, are far greater than the costs. These results support universal application of this type of intervention.