Prevention is better than cure, it is said, but is it more efficient? In the quest for improvements in health and life expectancy, and reductions in the growth of health care costs, attention has focused on the cost-effectiveness of preventive over curative medicine. Economics adds an essential dimension to the analysis of prevention policy that extends far beyond the study of comparative costs. The aim of this book is to give, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of the economics of prevention. It examines the scope of economics; the impact of the economy on avoidable ill-health, and of prevention on the economy; the economic rationale for provision of preventive services and regulation of hazardous activities; the cost-benefit approach and the nature of efficiency in prevention; the practice of economic appraisal; economic influences on the demand for hazardous commodities and screening services; theories of preventive behaviour; national prevention programme budgeting and priority setting; and the potential contribution of health economics.