Tobacco control programs reduce health-care costs

August 25, 2008

Tobacco control programs not only reduce smoking, but reduce personal health care costs as well, says new research published in PLoS Medicine by Stanton Glantz and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco.

Glantz and colleagues analysed data on smoking, health care expenditures, and exposure to the recent California state tobacco control program, and compared them to data from 38 control states in the United States. Control states were those without comprehensive tobacco control programs prior to 2000 or cigarette tax increases of $0.50 or more per pack over the study period. The researchers found savings of US$86 billion in personal health care expenditure between 1989, the start of the tobacco control program, and 2004. These cost savings grew over time, reaching 7.3% in 2003-2004. The personal health care expenditure savings represented about a 50-fold return on the $1.8 billion spent on the tobacco control program during the same period. Glantz and colleagues found that 3.6 billion fewer packs of cigarettes were sold during the 5 years of the tobacco control program, which represents a loss of $9.2 billion to the tobacco industry in pre-tax cigarette sales.

These findings on cost savings are important, say the authors, because so little money has been invested in tobacco control programs despite large amounts of money generated from state tobacco taxes and legal settlements with the tobacco industry. According to the 2008 WHO report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, not a single country fully implements all key tobacco control measures. The report also states that governments around the world collect 500 times more money in tobacco taxes each year than they spend on anti-tobacco efforts. Glantz and colleagues' study provides the first evidence that tobacco control programs can reduce health care costs, providing further justification for funding such programs.

The California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) is a state-funded public policy intervention established in 1989 with the goal of decreasing tobacco-related diseases and deaths in California by reducing tobacco use across the state. The program is focused on adults and social norm change rather than on adolescent tobacco use prevention, on the premise that "the next generation cannot be saved without changing the generations who have already reached adulthood."
-end-
Citation: Lightwood JM, Dinno A, Glantz SA (2008) Effect of the California Tobacco Control Program on personal health care expenditures. PLoS Med 5(8): e178. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050178

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050178

PRESS ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-08-glantz.pdf

VIDEO: http://www.scivee.tv/node/7053

Watch and re-use the video by Stan Glantz and Jim Lightwood about their research and the California State Tobacco Control Program: http://www.scivee.tv/node/7053

POSTER: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-08-glantz.jpg

This related California Department of Public Health poster is available for press use. Feel to re-use it but please credit the California Department of Public Health.

CONTACT:
Stanton Glantz
University of California San Francisco
Medicine (Cardiology)
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education
530 Parnassus Suite 366
San Francisco, CA 94143-1390
United States of America
415) 476-3893
415-514-9345 (fax)
glantz@medicine.ucsf.edu

PLOS

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.