Funding a smoking cessation program for Crohn's disease: an economic evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Stephanie Coward
  • Steven J Heitman
  • Fiona Clement
  • Maria Negron
  • Remo Panaccione
  • Herman W Barkema
  • Cynthia Seow
  • Yvette P Y Leung
  • Gilaad G Kaplan

Colleges, School and Institutes


OBJECTIVES: Patients with Crohn's disease (CD) who smoke are at a higher risk of flaring and requiring surgery. Cost-effectiveness studies of funding smoking cessation programs are lacking. Thus, we performed a cost-utility analysis of funding smoking cessation programs for CD.

METHODS: A cost-utility analysis was performed comparing five smoking cessation strategies: No Program, Counseling, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), NRT+Counseling, and Varenicline. The time horizon for the Markov model was 5 years. The health states included medical remission (azathioprine or antitumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF), dose escalation of an anti-TNF, second anti-TNF, surgery, and death. Probabilities were taken from peer-reviewed literature, and costs (CAN$) for surgery, medications, and smoking cessation programs were estimated locally. The primary outcome was the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained associated with each smoking cessation strategy. Threshold, three-way sensitivity, probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA), and budget impact analysis (BIA) were carried out.

RESULTS: All strategies dominated No Program. Strategies from most to least cost effective were as follows: Varenicline (cost: $55,614, QALY: 3.70), NRT+Counseling (cost: $58,878, QALY: 3.69), NRT (cost: $59,540, QALY: 3.69), Counseling (cost: $61,029, QALY: 3.68), and No Program (cost: $63,601, QALY: 3.67). Three-way sensitivity analysis demonstrated that No Program was only more cost effective when every strategy's cost exceeded approximately 10 times their estimated costs. The PSA showed that No Program was the most cost-effective <1% of the time. The BIA showed that any strategy saved the health-care system money over No Program.

CONCLUSIONS: Health-care systems should consider funding smoking cessation programs for CD, as they improve health outcomes and reduce costs.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-77
Number of pages10
JournalThe American Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2014


  • Adult, Azathioprine, Benzazepines, Canada, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Crohn Disease, Directive Counseling, Female, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Male, Models, Statistical, Nicotinic Agonists, Program Evaluation, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Quinoxalines, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Tobacco Use Cessation Products, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Varenicline, Evaluation Studies, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't