17 Dec CDC ‘Tips From Former Smokers Campaign’ Proves Cost Effective
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Xin Xu, Ph.D.
Senior Economist Office on Smoking and Health and
Health Communications Specialist
McNeal Professional Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office on Smoking and Health
Atlanta, GA 30341
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Tips From Former Smokers (Tips), the first federally funded national mass media antismoking campaign, launched by the CDC, provides a unique opportunity to assess the cost effectiveness of a nationwide public health intervention that meets the ad exposure recommendation in CDC’s 2014 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. The 2012 campaign spent $393 per year of life saved—far less than the $50,000 per year of life saved figure used as a common threshold for cost-effectiveness. The campaign added about 179,000 healthy life years, at $268 per healthy year gained. The campaign spent about $480 per smoker who quit. The campaign averted more than 17,000 premature deaths, at a cost of about $2,200 per premature death averted.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Clinicians face limited resources as they work to reduce the enormous human and financial toll of tobacco use. It is therefore important to identify interventions that have a large impact at a relatively small cost. These findings suggest that a national, federally funded mass media campaign can be highly cost effective to reduce the burden of tobacco use.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: More research is needed to demonstrate the value, as well as the long-run impacts of mass media antismoking campaigns.