A belief that health promotion will reduce health care costs has led many to see health promotion as a way of saving money, and economics as the discipline to highlight where these savings can be made. This shows a lack of understanding both of the objectives of health promotion and of the role that economics can play in the pursuit of those objectives. While it is possible that money may be saved through health promotion, this is not normally its primary objective. Indeed, if saving money were the sole objective, then any health gains which could be achieved only at positive cost would not be pursued. Since virtually all programmes of treatment and cure achieve health gains at some positive cost, such a restriction on health promotion would clearly be illogical.