The Health Information and Quality Authority has published the first analysis comparing the cost-effectiveness of various smoking cessation interventions.
The cost to the healthcare system of smoking is about €460m a year.
There are around 820,000 smokers in Ireland, with half making at least one quit attempt each year.
Almost one in three people use e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking.
HIQA’s study says that while early evidence for e-cigarettes is promising, the Minister for Health should await the results of on-going trials before recommending them as a smoking cessation method.
The health watchdog says that the most effective intervention is the prescription only drug Varenicline, either alone, or alongside nicotine replacement therapy.
Furthermore, it recommends that the HSE increase the uptake of the drug.