Smoking is a serious and expensive risk factor for many chronic diseases. In 2008, the smoking-related burden of disease in Israel was approximately 96,000 QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years). Included in that figure are almost 9,000 deaths from active smoking alone. In economic terms, in 2008, the direct cost to Israel’s health services was roughly NIS 1.75 billion, the equivalent of 0.25% of the country’s Gross National Product.
Numerous effective tobacco control interventions exist. No one single intervention can totally reduce the considerable burden of disease from smoking. Therefore, a multi-faceted approach is required, combining public health interventions such as smoke-free legislation, counter-advertising, and increased taxation with a variety of clinical and community-level prevention and cessation interventions. As public resources are limited and do not suffice to fund all the possible interventions, it is necessary for policymakers to prioritize them.
In order to help policymakers in this effort, this report presents cost-utility ratios for a variety of interventional modalities known to reduce the smoking-related disease burden. The cost-utility ratios were calculated by modeling internationally-derived, evidence-based estimates of intervention effectiveness to Israeli epidemiologic, economic and demographic conditions.
Eight interventions that actually reduce costs were identified, in addition to 13 very cost-effective interventions Taken together, these interventions could significantly improve the nation’s health and reduce national health expenditures.