Cost-effectiveness of enhancing a Quit-and-Win smoking cessation program for college students

Jonah Popp, John A. Nyman, Xianghua Luo, Jill Bengtson, Katherine Lust, Lawrence An, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Janet L. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis and model-based cost–utility and cost–benefit analysis of increased dosage (3 vs. 1 consecutive contests) and enhanced content (supplemental smoking-cessation counseling) of the Quit-and-Win contest using data from a randomized control trial enrolling college students in the US. Methods: For the cost–utility and cost–benefit analyses, we used a microsimulation model of the life course of current and former smokers to translate the distribution of the duration of continuous abstinence among each treatment arm’s participants observed at the end of the trial (N = 1217) into expected quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and costs and an incremental net monetary benefit (INMB). Missing observations in the trial were classified as smoking. For our reference case, we took a societal perspective and used a 3% discount rate for costs and benefits. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) was performed to account for model and trial-estimated parameter uncertainty. We also conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis (cost per additional intermediate cessation) using direct costs of the intervention and two trial-based estimates of intermediate cessation: (a) biochemically verified (BV) 6-month continuous abstinence and (b) BV 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 6 months. Results: Multiple contests resulted in a significantly higher BV 6-month continuous abstinence rate (RD 0.04), at a cost of $1275 per additional quit, and increased the duration of continuous abstinence among quitters. In the long run, multiple contests lead to an average gain of 0.03 QALYs and were cost saving. Incorporating parameter uncertainty into the analyses, the expected INMB was greater than $1000 for any realistic willingness to pay (WTP) for a QALY. Conclusions: Assuming missing values were smoking, multiple contests appear to dominate a single contest from a societal perspective. Funding agencies seeking to promote population health by funding a Quit-and-Win contest in a university setting should strongly consider offering multiple consecutive contests. Further research is needed to evaluate multiple contests compared to no contest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1333
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5R01-HL094183-05, Thomas, PI). The parent trial is registered with Clinical Trials.Gov, NCT01096108.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • College smoking
  • Cost utility
  • Decision-analytic model
  • Economic evaluation
  • Financial incentives
  • Smoking cessation


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