Behavioral Smoking Cessation Counseling During Pregnancy: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Hannah L. Bacheller, Alyssa R. Hersh, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the cost effectiveness of using behavioral smoking cessation counseling during pregnancy. METHODS: We designed a decision-analytic model using TreeAge Pro 2020 software to compare the cost effectiveness and outcomes among women who received behavioral smoking cessation counseling compared with women who received usual care during pregnancy. We used a theoretical cohort of 285,000 women, the approximate number of pregnant women who smoke each year in the United States. Outcomes included maternal abstinence from smoking, fetal growth restriction, stillbirth, preterm delivery, neonatal death, and cerebral palsy, in addition to cost and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) for both the woman and the neonate. All model inputs were derived from the literature, and a willingness-to-pay threshold was set at $100,000 per QALY. Sensitivity analyses were performed to determine the robustness of baseline assumptions. RESULTS: In our theoretical cohort, behavioral smoking cessation counseling compared with usual care was associated with 9,019 additional women stopping smoking during pregnancy (34,604 vs 25,585). Smoking cessation counseling also resulted in 911 fewer cases of fetal growth restriction, 20 fewer stillbirths, 250 fewer preterm deliveries, 11 fewer neonatal deaths, and one less case of cerebral palsy. Using behavioral smoking cessation counseling interventions during pregnancy led to better outcomes despite higher costs, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $71,658 per QALY, which was below our willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000 per QALY, making the intervention cost effective. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that the counseling intervention was cost effective at probabilities of smoking cessation greater than 11.6% (baseline input: 12.1%) or the cost of the behavioral intervention was less than $475.21 (baseline input: $368.78). CONCLUSION: Behavioral smoking cessation counseling during pregnancy was associated with fewer adverse neonatal outcomes and was cost effective. Increasing utilization of such interventions and increasing insurance coverage of this care are important initiatives to improve outcomes in this at-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-712
Number of pages10
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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