Estimating the cost of a smoking employee.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: We attempted to estimate the excess annual costs that a US private employer may attribute to employing an individual who smokes tobacco as compared to a non-smoking employee. DESIGN: Reviewing and synthesising previous literature estimating certain discrete costs associated with smoking employees, we developed a cost estimation approach that approximates the total of such costs for US employers. We examined absenteeism, presenteesim, smoking breaks, healthcare costs and pension benefits for smokers. RESULTS: Our best estimate of the annual excess cost to employ a smoker is $5816. This estimate should be taken as a general indicator of the extent of excess costs, not as a predictive point value. CONCLUSIONS: Employees who smoke impose significant excess costs on private employers. The results of this study may help inform employer decisions about tobacco-related policies.
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ABSTRACT: A 2011 report from the National Lung Screening Trial indicates that three annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screenings for lung cancer reduced lung cancer mortality by 20% compared to chest X-ray among older individuals at high risk for lung cancer. Discussion has shifted from clinical proof to financial feasibility. The goal of this study was to determine whether LDCT screening for lung cancer in a commercially-insured population (aged 50-64) at high risk for lung cancer is cost-effective and to quantify the additional benefits of incorporating smoking cessation interventions in a lung cancer screening program. The current study builds upon a previous simulation model to estimate the cost-utility of annual, repeated LDCT screenings over 15 years in a high risk hypothetical cohort of 18 million adults between age 50 and 64 with 30+ pack-years of smoking history. In the base case, the lung cancer screening intervention cost $27.8 billion over 15 years and yielded 985,284 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained for a cost-utility ratio of $28,240 per QALY gained. Adding smoking cessation to these annual screenings resulted in increases in both the costs and QALYs saved, reflected in cost-utility ratios ranging from $16,198 per QALY gained to $23,185 per QALY gained. Annual LDCT lung cancer screening in this high risk population remained cost-effective across all sensitivity analyses. The findings of this study indicate that repeat annual lung cancer screening in a high risk cohort of adults aged 50-64 is highly cost-effective. Offering smoking cessation interventions with the annual screening program improved the cost-effectiveness of lung cancer screening between 20% and 45%. The cost-utility ratios estimated in this study were in line with other accepted cancer screening interventions and support inclusion of annual LDCT screening for lung cancer in a high risk population in clinical recommendations.PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e71379. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of mortality and morbidity. Although behavioral counseling combined with pharmacotherapy is the most effective approach to aiding smoking cessation, intensive treatments are rarely chosen by smokers, citing inconvenience. In contrast, minimal self-help interventions have the potential for greater reach, with demonstrated efficacy for relapse prevention, but not for smoking cessation. This paper summarizes the design and methods used for a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a minimal self-help smoking cessation intervention that consists of a set of booklets delivered across time. Baseline participant recruitment data are also presented. Daily smokers were recruited nationally via multimedia advertisements and randomized to one of three conditions. The Usual Care (UC) group received a standard smoking-cessation booklet. The Standard Repeated Mailings (SRM) group received 8 booklets mailed over a 12-month period. The Intensive Repeated Mailings (IRM) group received 10 booklets and additional supplemental materials mailed monthly over 18 months. A total of 2641 smokers were screened, 2349 were randomized, and 1874 provided data for analyses. Primary outcomes will be self-reported abstinence at 6-month intervals up to 30 months. If the self-help booklets are efficacious, this minimal, low cost intervention can be widely disseminated and, hence, has the potential for significant public health impact with respect to reduction in smoking-related illness and mortality.Contemporary clinical trials. 05/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Inequities in smoking behaviors continue to exist with higher rates among persons with limited formal education and for those living below the poverty level. This report describes the scope of tobacco cessation services delivered to low socio-economic status (SES) patients in several primary care medical offices, considered as "safety-net" sources of health care. Using a cross-sectional design, a random sample of records were reviewed for 922 smokers from 4 medical offices. The primary outcome variable was the delivery of smoking cessation services as documented in medical records; information on patient demographics and number of visits during the past 12 months was also abstracted. Smoking status was assessed during the last office visit for 65 % of smokers, 59 % were advised to quit, readiness to quit was assessed for 24 %, 2 % indicated a willingness to quit within the next 30 days and a quit date was established for 1 %. Among smokers not yet ready to quit, few were counseled on the "5 R's" (Relevance, Risks, Rewards, Roadblocks, Repetition). These results expand our understanding of the unfortunately limited scope of cessation services delivered to persons seen in safety-net medical offices and call attention to the need to redouble efforts to more effectively address smoking cessation among diverse, low SES patients served by safety-net primary care clinics.Journal of Community Health 02/2014; · 1.28 Impact Factor