Cost effectiveness of the tips from former smokers campaign—U.S., 2012–2018.

American Journal of Preventative Medicine, January 13th 2021

Cigarette smoking imposes substantial health and financial burden on smokers, the healthcare sector, and society at large. Although the prevalence of current cigarette smoking in the U.S. has been steadily declining for decades, including since 2012 (18.1%), an estimated 13.7% of adults (or 34.2 million adults) remained smokers in 2018. Smoking-related illness in the U.S. costs >$300 billion each year, including nearly $170 billion for direct medical care for adults and >$156 billion in lost productivity. Evidence-based mass-reach health education campaigns are effective in motivating people who smoke to quit and in reducing smoking prevalence.

Since 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted the national Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) tobacco education campaign, which encourages smokers to quit by featuring people living with real-life health consequences of smoking. Previous studies have shown that Tips increased population-level quit attempts and sustained quits and that the 2012 campaign was cost-effective from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s perspective. However, the long-term cost-effectiveness of the campaign, and from the healthcare sector perspective, has not been assessed. This study estimates the cost-effectiveness of the Tips campaign compared with that of no campaign during 2012–2018.

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