Background International evidence shows that mass media campaigns are effective tobacco control interventions. However, they require substantial investment; a key question is whether their costs are justified by their benefits. The aim of this study was to systematically and comprehensively review economic evaluations of tobacco control mass media campaigns.
Methods An electronic search of databases and grey literature was conducted to identify all published economic evaluations of tobacco control mass media campaigns. The authors reviewed studies independently and assessed the quality of studies using the Drummond 10-point checklist. A narrative synthesis was used to summarise the key features and quality of the identified studies.
Results 10 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. All the studies included a cost effectiveness analysis, a cost utility analysis or both. The methods were highly heterogeneous, particularly in terms of the types of costs included. On the whole, studies were well conducted, but the interventions were often poorly described in terms of campaign content and intensity, and cost information was frequently inadequate. All studies concluded that tobacco control mass media campaigns are a cost effective public health intervention.
Conclusions The evidence on the cost effectiveness of tobacco control mass media campaigns is limited, but of acceptable quality and consistently suggests that they offer good value for money.
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