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Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs Reduce Tobacco Use

A crushed, unlit cigarette

Did you know that Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs reduce tobacco use?

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) recommends comprehensive tobacco control programs - which include state and local programs, cessation assistance services, mass-reach health communications interventions, surveillance and evaluation, and administration and management - to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, based on strong evidence of effectiveness.

Researchers examined evidence from 61 studies from the United States and other high income countries and found that these programs reduce prevalence of tobacco use among adults and young people, reduce tobacco product consumption, increase quitting, and contribute to reductions in tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Comprehensive programs are also effective across diverse racial, ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic groups.

In addition, the Task Force found economic evidence indicating that these programs are cost-effective, and healthcare savings are greater than the intervention costs.

The Task Force, an independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts, bases its recommendations on systematic reviews of scientific studies. Under Task Force direction, scientists and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conduct the reviews in collaboration with a wide range of government, academic, policy, and practice-based partners. Peer-reviewed articles of these systematic reviews are currently being prepared. You can find summaries and supporting materials at www.thecommunityguide.org.

What are "Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs"?

Comprehensive tobacco control programs are coordinated efforts to implement population-level interventions to reduce appeal and acceptability of tobacco use, increase tobacco use cessation, reduce secondhand smoke exposure, and prevent initiation of tobacco use among young people.

Programs combine and integrate multiple evidence-based strategies: educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and social strategies at local, state, or national levels.

Why are these Task Force recommendations important?

  • Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Cigarette smoking has been causally linked to diseases of nearly all organs of the body, to diminished health status and to harm to the fetus (CDC, 2014).
  • Smoking imposes an immense burden on society with over 480,000 premature deaths, over $156 billion in lost productivity costs, and at least $133 billion in direct medical care expenditures in the United States each year (CDC, 2014).
  • Smokeless tobacco, cigars, and pipes also have deadly consequences, including lung, larynx, esophageal, and oral cancers as well as coronary heart disease (CDC, 2004, CDC, 2006; National Cancer Institute, 1998).
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes serious disease and death, including cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and adverse effects on the health of infants and children including sudden infant death syndrome (CDC, 2014). An estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, including about 54% of young children aged 3–11 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke (CDC, 2010).

What are the Task Force and The Community Guide?

  • The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is an independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by providing evidence-based recommendations about community preventive programs, services, and policies to improve health. Task Force members represent a broad range of research, practice, and policy expertise in community prevention services, public health, health promotion, and disease prevention.
  • The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) is a website that is a collection of all the evidence-based findings and recommendations of the Community Preventive Services Task Force.

References

CDC. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General External Web Site Icon. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.

CDC. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General External Web Site Icon. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.

CDC. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General External Web Site Icon. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.

CDC. State-Specific Smoking-Attributable Mortality and Years of Potential Life Lost --- United States, 2000--2004 External Web Site Icon MMWR, 2009, 58(2);29-33.

CDC. Vital Signs: Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke—United States, 1999–2008 External Web Site Icon. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010;59(35):1141–6

National Cancer Institute. Cigars: Health Effects and Trends External Web Site Icon Adobe PDF File [PDF - 2.93 MB]. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 1998.

World Health Organization. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines External Web Site Icon Adobe PDF File [PDF - 3.18 MB]. International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Vol. 89. Lyon, (France): World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007.

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