Kentucky’s Smoking Cessation Quitline: Annual Estimated Return on Investment to Employers

Nathan Pauly, Jeffrey Talbert, Shannon Parsley, Bobbye Gray, Ellen J. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: State-based smoking cessation telephone quitlines offer a cost-effective method of providing tobacco treatment at no cost to participants. The study objective was to assess the annual return on investment (ROI) to employers if they were to bear the entire responsibility from the Kentucky quitline. Design: A retrospective design was used to estimate the annual ROI to employers from the Kentucky quitline. Setting: The telephone quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) provided intake and follow-up data for all Kentucky participants who enrolled in the program from 2012 to 2014. Participants: All individuals aged 18+ who enrolled in the Kentucky quitline from 2012 to 2014. Measures: Successful tobacco cessation was assessed from follow-up surveys that took place after individuals completed the program. Cost savings to employers associated with tobacco cessation were gleaned from a published meta-analysis. The Kentucky quitline provided estimates for annual program expenses. Analysis: The annual ROI was calculated as the difference between estimated annual cost savings due to smoking cessation and annual program expenses. Results: From 2012 to 2014, 5425 individuals were enrolled in the quitline. The annual ROI to employers was estimated to be $998 680, with an ROI ratio of 6.2:1. Conclusions: Employers may receive a substantial ROI if they were to fund the Kentucky quitline. Study results may be used as evidence to support cost-sharing partnerships between public health agencies and employers to sustain funding for telephone quitlines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-288
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • cost-benefit analysis
  • employer
  • health costs
  • prevention and control
  • smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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