Irish report examining cost effectiveness of e-cigarettes

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The health technology assessment (HTA), examining the cost effectiveness of the products was released last Thursday and is the first of its kind in Europe. “Hiqa’s analysis shows that increased uptake of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting would increase the number of people who successfully quit compared with the existing situation in Ireland, and would be cost-effective provided that the currently available evidence on their effectiveness is confirmed by further studies.”

The expenses accrued by smoking cessation services

An increase in vaping by smokers is expected to lead to more people managing to successfully quit smoking.

An article published last week on the Irish Times, pointed out that the expense that Ireland is currently facing in terms of smoking cessation is thought to be of about €40 million per year, and this includes the cost of smoking cessation programs, the cost of GP services and medication for medical card holders seeking treatment, and finally the personal expenses faced by smokers themselves on smoking cessation aides.

The report which was carried out upon a request by Dr Fenton Howell, the national tobacco control adviser at the Department of Health, pointed out that if vaping products had to reach the same popularity as they did in England, where as a result the lowest number of smokers ever recorded is being reported, the number of NRT prescriptions by medical professionals could be expected to diminish by 40%.

The benefits of vaping need to keep being examined

“Given the increasing use of e-cigarettes it is of vital importance that their potential benefit and harms continue to be discussed with smokers to ensure informed decision-making in relation to their use,” says the report, whilst confirming that an increase in vaping by smokers is expected to lead to more people managing to successfully quit smoking.

“Hiqa’s analysis shows that increased uptake of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting would increase the number of people who successfully quit compared with the existing situation in Ireland, and would be cost-effective provided that the currently available evidence on their effectiveness is confirmed by further studies.”HTA report

The Irish Vape Vendors Association viewed this report with positive regard, due to the fact that it acknowledged vaping products as tobacco harm reduction alternatives that can be of benefit to the smoking population and the public health sector.

Marshall Getto

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