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Potential health benefits and cost effectiveness of tobacco tax increases and school intervention programs targeted at adolescents in the Netherlands

Potentiele gezondheidswinst en kosten effectiviteit van accijnsverhogingen op tabaksproducten en interventieprogramma's op scholen gericht op jongeren in Nederland

Synopsis

Increasing tobacco taxes is a cost effective measure to reduce smoking among youth. A price increase on tobacco products reduces the number of young smokers by almost 20,000 in the short run. Although, in the end, effects of current price increases on smoking behaviour will fade away, tobacco taxes still are a good strategy to gain health effects since no intervention costs are involved. Cost effectiveness ratios for tobacco tax increases amount to 4,500 per QALY gained including medical costs in life years gained, but excluding tobacco tax revenues. This report presents estimates of health gains and cost effectiveness of two types of interventions targeted at smoking reduction among adolescents in the Netherlands: school interventions and tobacco tax increases. Effects in terms of smokers averted were determined from the literature. To translate these effects into health gains and cost effectiveness the RIVM Chronic Disease Model (CDM) is used. This dynamic population model allows estimating effects on smoking related diseases, gains in (quality adjusted) life years and differences in health care costs. For the school interventions, three different programs were investigated. The intervention costs per participant ranged from 20 to 75. Since there is much uncertainty about the effectiveness of the school interventions with regard to daily smoking among adolescents, results of the scenario analyses should be interpreted with caution. The conclusion that can be drawn from the scenario analyses with the CDM is that much health gains can be attained by preventing adolescents from smoking initiation and that tobacco tax increase may contribute to this in a cost effective way.
 

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