The NICE Tobacco Return on Investment Tool

We are currently working to extend the tobacco return on investment tool (for example to include youth prevention) and are developing new return on investment tools for alcohol and physical activity - we aim to publish these 3 developments in the Autumn.

If you want to be notified of publication then register here

About the Tobacco Return on Investment Tool

The Tobacco Return on Investment Tool has been developed to help decision making in tobacco control at local and sub-national levels.

The tool evaluates a portfolio of tobacco control interventions and models the economic returns that can be expected in different payback timescales. Different interventions, including pharmacotherapies and support and advice, can be mixed and matched to see which intervention portfolio or package provides the best 'value for money', compared with 'no-services' or any other specified package.

Produced for NICE by the Health Economics Research Group (HERG) at Brunel University, the tool is to support commissioners and policy makers, in local authorities and the NHS, in their investment decisions. Select an area of interest using drop down menus, and the tool will automatically estimate the smoking and ex-smoking populations based on up-to-date statistics. This population composition is used to model the impact of smoking on relevant endpoints, taking into account short-, medium- and long-term events.

The tool builds on previous work including work undertaken by HERG on behlaf of Tobacco Free Futures, Fresh Smoke Free North East and Smoke Free South West.

The tool is accompanied by a package of support materials, including a user guide and technical report, and can be downloaded using the links below.

This site contains the most up-to-date tool, so please ensure that you are using the latest version. The most recent version is version 2- check this page regularly to ensure the tool you have downloaded is up to date.

Changes since v1


  • 'Custom Intervention' functionality has been added to the Uptake section to allow users to consider the effects of a custom-defined intervention.
  • An additional intervention has been added to the NHS Stop Smoking Services suite of interventions: the 'All other NHS SSS interventions' option accounts for all other SSS interventions not explicitly included in the tool.


  • The 'Short-Term Societal Savings' output has been amended to include per capita savings.
  • Various corrections to the text and values of the Word output.


  • The values used to produce local population estimates (i.e. population estimates, smoking prevalences) have been brought in-line with up-to-date figures (from ONS and IHS respectively).
  • The method of calculating the per-smoker costs of including a subnational tobacco control programme has been redeveloped to be more accurate (calculated relative to the local general adult population, rather than the local smoking population).
  • The default rate of employment among smokers has been amended to regional-level estimates (rather than national), based on data from IHS.
  • More recent data have been used as a baseline to estimate local uptake of different NHS SSS interventions (2011/12 quarterly monitoring returns data); a new algorithm has been developed to use these data to produce more-dynamic estimates of the local allocation of smokers to different pharmacotherapy/behavioural support combinations. The differences in default allocations between v1 and v2 can be seen here.
  • Fixes to a number of minor operational bugs.
  • An automated error reporting facility has also been added to help bring problems to the attention of the development team.

Supporting documents

The tool is accompanied by a user guide and a technical report. We strongly advise that you read these before using the tool.

Regional workshops

In collaboration with other organisations, NICE is planning a series of regional workshops to demonstrate the use of the tool and provide help and support to those using it. If you are interested in attending a future workshop, please contact us.

Implementation support tools

In addition to the user guide and technical report, NICE has also developed an audiovisual guide on how to use the NICE tobacco return on investment tool. Please get in touch to tell us what you think of this implementation resource and if there are any outstanding issues you would like us to cover in any future implementation tools we produce.

User feedback

This tool is work-in-progress, and as such we welcome feedback on this tool. In particular, we would like to know how the tool is being used, any difficulties you have had in using it, and suggestions for improvements. Please contact us.

Download the tool and accompanying support materials

To use the tool, right click on the link and save it to a location on your computer. It is not recommended that you left-click to open the tool from the temporary file location it will be saved in, as the file may not work properly. Read the user guide for more information.

Once you have downloaded the tool you will need to enable macros in Excel for the tool to function.

Please note that due to the way this tool was developed, it is not compatible with Excel 2003 and earlier versions, or Excel for Mac. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.



NICE has provided this tool to aid decision-making. NICE cannot be held liable for any investment or other decisions that are made using information and results obtained from this tool. Implementation of NICE guidance is the responsibility of local commissioners and/or providers. Commissioners and providers are reminded that it is their responsibility to implement NICE guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to avoid unlawful discrimination and to have regard to promoting equality of opportunity. Nothing in this tool should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

This page was last updated: 24 July 2013

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.