Options Analysis: Reducing the rate of smoking among young people (fictitious example) The health ministry of Healthy and Happy Land would like to reduce the number of young people who start smoking. The ministry discusses several options. One option is to appeal to self-regulation and, as a deterrent, place gruesome pictures on cigarette packages, for instance, of diseased lungs. A second option is to provide an economic incentive and raise the price of tobacco. A third option is to make access to tobacco more difficult by prohibiting cigarette vending machines. The ministry uses various sources of data to compare options, for example historical figures from other countries and surveying a selected sample of young people on the effect of measures and studies on the harmful effects of smoking. The underlying data thus consists of qualitative and quantitative information that the ministry uses in a multi-criteria analysis, and the three options in comparison to the current situation (status quo) using a scale of "++" to "--" for evaluating which option will mostly likely reduce the number of young people who start smoking. This comparison shows that a price increase would have the greatest effect. Evaluation Description ++ Large reduction in the number of young smokers compared to the status quo + Small reduction in the number of young smokers compared to the status quo = No reduction in the number of young smokers compared to the status quo - Small increase in the number of young smokers compared to the status quo -- Large increase in the number of young smokers compared to the status quo ? No evidentiary basis for evaluating the effect Page 1 Options Analysis: Reducing the rate of smoking among young people (fictitious example) Benefit: Improved health amongst young people Effect Nature Option 1 of effect Pictures Option 2 Price The Qualitati Reduction probable; + Reduction very underlying data probable; good number of ve uncertain underlying data from young comparative smokers countries decrease Quantita In a survey of 100 + In neighboring s. tive young people, 25% country A, the rate of of young people smoking amongst said that they would young people not start smoking decreased by 30% due to the deterrent as a result of a price pictures. increase of €2 to €8 for 20 cigarettes. Monetar Reducing smoking y value amongst young people by 25% (approximately 750,000 young people) means a saving of approximately €22 + Reducing smoking + amongst young people by 30% (approximately 1,000,000 young people) means a saving of approximately €30 Option 3 Prohibition Status quo + Reduction probable + but low; good underlying data + Reduction improbable (according to a study by the health ministry) + The prohibition of + cigarette machines in country B resulted in a reduction of 10% amongst young smokers according to the study "Smokers in B". + Approximately 3,000,000 young smokers; 30% of all cancer fatalities are a result of smoking; smoking is the most frequent cause of lung cancer. + Reducing smoking + amongst young people by 10% (approximately 300,000 young people) means a saving of approximately €9 + Smokers cost the health system approximately €30,000 per year on average.