Determining the Public Health Costs of Tobacco Prevention and Control: A Comparison of 5 New Jersey Local Health Departments

Year: 2013
Funding: Delivery and Cost Studies (DACS)
Status: Completed

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Research is needed to understand the true cost of public health services. NJPBRN proposes to examine costs required for tobacco prevention and control activities, an area of much concern for local public health in NJ, in 5 diverse local health departments (LHDs). We will identify and measure costs for all services in tobacco prevention and control. Using a costing workplan, all relevant activities and their capital vs. recurrent costs, both fixed and variable, will be determined. Comparisons will be made across LHDs on costs of common activities and overall costs for tobacco prevention activities in FY 2013. We will work with the NCC to conduct analyses and to report the findings. The 13 NJ’s LHDs that have expressed interest in the project will constitute an advisory group, along with a faculty economic / budget analysis consultant and the SPH/NJMS and NJDOH research team. In June 2013, the advisory group will select 5 LHDs based on diversity of geography, population, and administrative structure. The advisory group will meet quarterly to review findings and suggest interpretation and modifications to the plan. The study results will add to public health knowledge of “production functions” – (mechanisms through which costs, information, and labor produce health promotion and protection services, programs, and policies). This knowledge is a prerequisite for improving quality and efficiency of public health activities, and population health outcomes associated with them.


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Pauline Thomas, M.D.     

Natalie Pawlenko, M.S.W., B.A.

Susan German, M.P.H.