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September 12, 1986

Cost-effectiveness of Nicotine Gum as an Adjunct to Physician's Advice Against Cigarette Smoking

Author Affiliations

From Policy Analysis Inc, Brookline, Mass (Dr Oster and Messrs Huse and Delea), and the Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (Dr Colditz).

JAMA. 1986;256(10):1315-1318. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380100089026

A nicotine chewing gum has recently become available for use as an aid in giving up cigarette smoking. Although its efficacy has been demonstrated in clinic-based smoking cessation programs, its value in a primary care setting is uncertain. We examined the cost-effectiveness of nicotine gum as an adjunct to physician's advice and counseling against smoking during routine office visits. Our findings indicate that the cost per year of life saved with this intervention ranges from $4113 to $6465 for men and from $6880 to $9473 for women, depending on age. This compares favorably with other widely accepted medical practices, eg, treatment of hypertension or hyperlipidemia. Our study, therefore, suggests that nicotine gum is a cost-effective adjunct to physician's advice against cigarette smoking in a primary care setting.

(JAMA 1986;256:1315-1318)