Smoking still the ‘poor relation’ in tackling heart disease

Monday 06 March 2000

ASH/ Press releases/


102 Clifton Street,London EC2A 4HW Tel: (0207) 739 5902 Fax: (0207) 613 0531

Press Release
6th March 2000
Action on Smoking
and Health

Smoking still the ‘poor relation’ in tackling heart disease

ASH today pushed the Government to place smoking at the centre of its heart disease programme by spending serious money on smoking cessation programmes. ASH drew attention to gigantic anomalies in the rhetoric and the realities revealed in expenditure on smoking cessation versus expenditure on cholesterol lowering drugs:

NHS expenditure on smoking cessation 1999 = £10 million [1]
Cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation = £212-£873 per life-year gained [2]
NHS expenditure on ‘statins’ 1999 = £200 million [1]
Cost-effectiveness of ‘statins’ = £5,400 – £13,300 per life-year gained [3]

[1] Yvette Cooper, Parliamentary answer to Kevin Barron MP, Hansard 7 February 2000 col 62W The same answer suggests spending on statins will rise to £275 million by 2001.

[2] Raw M, McNeill A, West R, Smoking cessation guidelines for health professionals, Thorax, Vol 53.  supplement, Dec 1998.

[3] Ebrahim S. et al What role forstatins? A review and economic model. Health Technology Assessment 1999; Vol.3 No.19.

Ref. [2] and [3] were cited by Yvette Cooper in ref [1] as appropriate sources for cost-effectiveness data.


Contact Clive Bates, ASH (0207) 739 5902

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