HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Smoking, alcohol, evidence and political fashion

The DH currently has an open consultation on their proposals to make private vehicles smokefree when carrying children. The cost-benefit analysis that is included in the Impact Assessment that supports the proposals is quite emphatic: £32.9m to £65.9m benefits and £2.1m costs = no-brainer.

But then you see the evidence base and assumptions, including:
Image by superfantastic via Flickr CC BY 2.0
  • the Royal College of Physician disease estimates relating to second hand smoke (SHS) are a fair approximation and that 5%-10% is attributable to SHS in cars
  • the utility gains to children from not being exposed to SHS in cars offsets the consumer surplus lost to smokers
  • smokers do not increase their smoking levels at home around children
Now contrast this with the minimum pricing of alcohol. An extensive evidence base and in-depth, peer-reviewed modelling. And not supported by government. Why?