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Friday, December 12, 2014

Tips From Former Smokers Campaign Success

Have you ever wondered how effective anti-smoking campaigns are? In 2012, an anti-smoking campaign called “Tips From Former Smokers” was launched by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a new report has deemed the campaign not only a success, but also cost effective, according to HealthDay. The CDC reported that the campaign cost just $480 per smoker who quit and $393 per year of life saved.

You may remember this particular anti-smoking campaign, one could argue that it is hard to forget considering that it featured graphic images of the effects that smoking has on the human body. Last year, the CDC reported that an estimated 1.6 million people tried to quit smoking as a result of seeing the anti-smoking ads and 100,000 people actually did manage to quit. The CDC reports that the ad campaign was seen by almost 80 percent of American smokers.

“Our mission is to protect the public health, and the 2012 Tips ads did this by motivating 1.6 million smokers to make a quit attempt,” study co-author Dr. Tim McAfee, Director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said in an agency news release. “In addition, our responsibility is to spend public dollars as wisely and efficiently as possible.”

In order for a public health program to be deemed cost-effective, the widely accepted price-ceiling is $50,000 per year of life saved, according to the CDC. The “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign only cost of $393 per year of life saved, leaving a lot of money leftover to be directed towards other causes.

“There is no question the Tips campaign is a ‘best buy’ for public health — it saves lives and saves money,” added CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

The study appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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