Case for investment in tobacco cessation: a population based analysis in low- and middle-income countries

Sandoval et al.

This study aimed to estimate the return on investments of three population-level tobacco cessation strategies and three pharmacological interventions. The analysis included 124 low- and middle-income countries and assumed a 10-year investment period (2021–2030). The results indicate that all six cessation programs could help about 152 million tobacco users quit and save 2.7 million lives during 2021–2030. If quitters were followed until 65 years of age, 16 million lives could be saved from quitting. The combined investment cost was estimated at 1.68 United States dollars (US$) per capita a year, or US$ 115 billion over the period 2021– 2030, with Caribbean countries showing the lowest investment cost at US$ 0.50 per capita a year. Return on investments was estimated at 0.79 (at the end of 2030) and 7.50 if benefits were assessed by the time quitters reach the age of 65 years. Disaggregated results by country income level and region also showed a return on investments less than 1.0 in the short term and greater than 1.0 in the medium-to-long term. In all countries, population-level interventions were less expensive and yielded a return on investments greater than 1.0 in the short and long term, with investment cost estimated at US$ 0.21 per capita a year, or US$ 14.3 billion over 2021–2030. Pharmacological interventions were more expensive and became cost beneficial over a longer time. These results are likely conservative and provide support for a phased approach implementing population-
level strategies first, where most countries would reach break-even before 2030.

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