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Healio: Programs that pay smokers to quit cost-effective from health care sector perspective

Four different financial incentive programs for smoking cessation were cost-effective from the health care sector perspective, but more expensive from the employer perspective, which may hinder wider adoption, researchers reported. “The research was motivated by the fact that, although a randomized controlled trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that financial incentives persuade more smokers to quit, the interventions’ significant upfront costs discourage their adoption,” Louise B. Russell, PhD, adjunct professor of medical ethics and health policy and senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, told Healio. “Our results show that employers, with their shorter decision horizons, may continue to be reluctant to adopt these interventions, but they are a very good investment in health from the longer public health perspective.” Read more in Healio.