Table 2 Comparison of number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one death. Smoking cessation medication is usually used for 3–6 months, while statins or antihypertensive medication might be used throughout life

From: Treating tobacco dependence: guidance for primary care on life-saving interventions. Position statement of the IPCRG

NNT comparison
Intervention Outcome NNT
Smoking cessation behavioural support plus   
 - NRT Long-term quitter/premature death 23/46
 - Bupropion Long-term quitter/premature death 18/36
 - Varenicline Long-term quitter /premature death 10/20
Statins as primary prevention Prevent one death over 5 years 107
Antihypertensive treatment for mild hypertension Prevent one stroke or MI death over 1 year 700
Screening for cervical cancer Prevent one death over 10 years 1140