Quitline endorsed by Otago study

Researchers found that a year of running Quitline produced 4200 extra years of healthy life in...
Researchers found that a year of running Quitline produced 4200 extra years of healthy life in the population. Photo: File

Quitline which helps New Zealanders to stop smoking, is a highly cost-effective way to improve health and saves the health system money, a study says.

University of Otago Wellington researchers found that a year of running Quitline produced 4200 extra years of healthy life in the population.

Using data and computer modelling, they also concluded that the service saved the health system $84 million over the remaining lifetimes of the New Zealand population.

One of the study’s authors, Prof Nick Wilson, said the health benefit was particularly obvious for Maori, whose per capita health gains were three times greater than non-Maori’s.

‘‘The reality is probably even more favourable for health gain, since the modelling only covered the 16 most important tobacco-related diseases and many more diseases are related to smoking,’’ he said.

But he said the research also suggested a greater health gain would probably be achieved by regular increases in tobacco tax and from ‘‘tobacco-endgame interventions’’.

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