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Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure: Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs

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What the Task Force Found

About The Systematic Review

This Task Force finding is based on evidence from a review of 61 studies (search period through August 2014). Fifty-six studies evaluated program impact on cigarette use only. This review was conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Context

There is no information for this section.

Summary of Results

Included studies consistently showed that comprehensive tobacco control programs reduce the 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. Additionally, increases in program funding are associated with increases in program effectiveness.

Prevalence of Tobacco Use among Adults (22 studies)

  • Overall median decrease of 3.9 percentage points (interquartile interval [IQI]: ‑5.6 to ‑2.6 percentage points; 16 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 9 years.
    • Studies from U.S. only: median decrease of 2.8 percentage points (IQI: ‑3.5 to ‑2.4 percentage points; 12 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 9 years.
  • U.S. states with a comprehensive tobacco control program saw a median additional annual reduction of 0.46 percentage points compared to the rest of the country (IQI: ‑0.24 to ‑0.69 pct pts; 5 studies). Over time, the difference between state and national declines narrowed (2 studies).
  • A county comprehensive tobacco control program in the U.S. reduced adult smoking prevalence by 6.3 percentage points over a period of 6 years (1 study).
  • Self-reported exposure to multiple components of a U.S. state comprehensive tobacco control program was significantly associated with reductions in prevalence of adult smoking (1 study).

        Cessation (8 studies)

  • A country with a national comprehensive program saw an increased quit rate following program implementation (1 study).
  • States and localities with comprehensive tobacco control programs saw greater increases in cessation rates in before-after comparisons (2 studies, 1 U.S. and 1 non-U.S.) and when compared to the rest of the country or localities without such programs (4 studies, all U.S.).
  • A U.S. state with a comprehensive tobacco control program had similar cessation rates as the rest of the country (1 study).

Prevalence of Tobacco Use among Young People (<25 Years of Age) (14 studies)

  • Overall median decrease of 4.6 percentage points (IQI: ‑8.4 to ‑1.1 percentage points; 10 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 8 years.
    • Studies from U.S. only: median decrease of 4.5 percentage points (IQI: ‑6.0 to ‑0.7 percentage points; 9 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 6 years.
  • In three studies, U.S. states or localities with comprehensive tobacco control programs had greater reductions in smoking prevalence among young people than states or localities without such programs.
  • In one study, self-reported exposure to multiple components of a U.S. state comprehensive tobacco control program was not associated with reductions in prevalence of smoking among young people.

        Initiation (3 studies)

  • Comprehensive tobacco control programs reduced initiation among adolescents (11-17 years old; 3 studies) but had little or no impact on initiation among young adults (18-25 years old; 2 studies).
    • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs had greater reductions in initiation among 11-15 year olds compared to rest of the country (1 study) and saw reductions in initiation among 12-17 year olds in before-after comparisons (2 studies).
    • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs had little or no impact on initiation among 16-22 year olds compared to the rest of the country (1 study) or among 18-26 year olds in a before-after comparison (1 study).

Tobacco Consumption (18 studies)

       Cigarette Pack Sales (number of packs sold per month; 11 studies)

  • Studies from U.S. only: median decrease of 12.7% (IQI: ‑20.8% to ‑5.5%; 7 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 4 years.
  • In four studies, U.S. states with a comprehensive tobacco control program had a greater annual decline (2 studies) or greater overall decline (2 studies) in cigarette sales than the rest of the country.

        Individual Daily Consumption (number of cigarettes consumed per day; 10 studies)

  • Overall median decrease of 17.1% (IQI: ‑43.4% to ‑13.5%; 6 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 8 years.
    • Studies from U.S. only: median decrease of 23.7% (range: ‑54% to ‑12.3%; 5 studies); programs were implemented for a median of 8 years.
  • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs showed greater reductions in daily consumption when compared to the rest of the country (2 studies) and with before-after comparisons (2 studies).

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke (4 studies)

        Secondhand Smoke Exposure (2 studies)

  • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs saw reductions in adults' exposure to secondhand smoke at home or work (‑2.5 percentage points and -1.6 percentage points, respectively, 1 study), or overall (‑21.6 percentage points, 1 study) following program implementation.

        Prevalence of Smoke-Free Homes (3 studies)

  • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs saw increased number of households that adopted voluntary smoke-free rules by a median of 8.9 percentage points (range: 3.0 to 18.7 percentage points; 3 studies) following program implementation.

Tobacco-Related Diseases and Deaths (8 studies)

       Morbidity (2 studies)

  • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs saw reduced lung cancer incidence (1 study) and hospitalization due to tobacco-related diseases (1 study).

       Mortality (6 studies)

  • U.S. states with comprehensive tobacco control programs saw reduced lung cancer mortality (3 studies), smoking-attributable cancer mortality (‑18.4%; 1 study), and tobacco-related cardiovascular mortality (3 studies).

Tobacco-Related Disparities (10 studies)

       Stratified Analyses by Race/Ethnicity (5 studies)

  • Comprehensive tobacco control programs had similar effects across examined racial and ethnic groups for the following outcomes:
    • Reducing tobacco use prevalence among adults (3 studies) and young people (2 studies).
    • Reducing secondhand smoke exposure (1 study).

       Stratified Analyses by Education (4 studies)

  • Comprehensive tobacco control programs were effective across groups with different levels of educational attainment for the following outcomes:
    • Reducing tobacco use prevalence among adults (2 studies).
    • Reducing individual daily consumption (1 study).
    • Increasing cessation (2 studies).
  • A national program reduced the odds of being a smoker for all groups, but groups with the lowest education attainment had the highest odds of being a smoker (1 study).

       Stratified Analyses by Income/Socio-economic Status (SES) (3 studies)

  • Comprehensive tobacco control programs were effective across groups with different income levels or SES for the following outcomes:
    • Reducing tobacco use prevalence among adults (1 study) and young people (1 study).
    • Reducing secondhand smoke exposure (1 study).
  • A national program reduced smoking prevalence and increased cessation across all SES groups; the lowest SES group experienced the greatest increase in cessation (1 study).

Impact Due to Changes in Program Funding or Strength (18 studies)

In 16 studies, changes in tobacco use outcomes were evaluated in relationship to changes in comprehensive tobacco control program funding levels (some studies assessed more than one outcome)

  • In 13 of 16 studies, increased program funding was associated with increased program impact, including:
    • Decreased tobacco use prevalence among adults (3 studies); no impact in 2 studies.
    • Increased sustained cessation among pregnant women after delivery but no impact on cessation during pregnancy (1 study).
    • Decreased tobacco use prevalence among young people (2 studies); no impact in 1 study.
    • Decreased tobacco use initiation (2 studies).
    • Increased cessation among young people (1 study).
    • Decreased cigarette pack sales (6 studies); no impact in 1 study.
    • Decreased individual daily consumption (1 study).

In two studies, changes in tobacco use outcomes were evaluated in relationship to program strength (presence or extent of implemented interventions and policies)

  • Increased program strength were associated with the following outcomes (2 studies):
    • Decreased adult smoking prevalence (1 study); program strength measured as composite score of program funding, staff capacity, and policy and environment change as a result of the program.
    • Increased cessation (1 study); program strength measured as composite score of 6 tobacco control policies and interventions.

Summary of Economic Evidence

Twelve studies were included in the economic review (10 from the U.S. and 2 from Australia). Of the U.S. studies, 8 considered state comprehensive tobacco control programs and 2 examined data from the entire country. Estimates of cost-effectiveness were compared to a conservative cost-effectiveness threshold of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year saved (QALYS). All monetary values are reported in 2012 U.S. dollars.

Economic evidence indicates that comprehensive tobacco control programs are cost-effective, and savings from averted healthcare costs exceed intervention costs.

  • Healthcare costs averted (10 studies)
    • Estimates of healthcare costs averted varied substantially, mainly due to variations in the examined programs and differences in modeling practices used by researchers.
    • Values ranged from $34.9 million over 75 years in Australia (population in 2013: 23.1 million) to $141.1 billion over 20 years in California (population in 2013: 38.3 million).
  • Cost-effectiveness estimates (3 studies)
    • Cost per QALY saved (2 studies)
      • $24/QALYS – economic effect of a single year of state and national tobacco control programs for Australian population at $0.51 program cost per capita.
      • $857/QALYS – economic effect of 15 years of state funding for tobacco control for US population at $1.21 annual per capita program cost.
    • Cost per life year saved: $5,629 (1 study).
  • Cost-benefit estimates (9 studies)
    • Median benefit-to-cost ratio of 12:1 (IQI: 3:1 to 56:1).

Applicability

Based on results for different settings and populations, findings are applicable to the following:

  • U.S. and non-U.S. settings
  • National, state, city, and local scale programs
  • Adults and young people
  • Males and females
  • All racial groups examined (African-American, non-Hispanic white, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic)
  • All SES groups (education attainment and income levels used as proxy)

Evidence Gaps

Each Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) review identifies critical evidence gaps—areas where information is lacking. Evidence gaps can exist whether or not a recommendation is made. In cases when the Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine whether an intervention strategy works, evidence gaps encourage researchers and program evaluators to conduct more effectiveness studies. When the Task Force recommends an intervention, evidence gaps highlight missing information that would help users determine if the intervention could meet their particular needs. For example, evidence may be needed to determine where the intervention will work, with which populations, how much it will cost to implement, whether it will provide adequate return on investment, or how users should structure or deliver the intervention to ensure effectiveness. Finally, evidence may be missing for outcomes different from those on which the Task Force recommendation is based.

Identified Evidence Gaps

  • More research is needed to examine longitudinal associations between comprehensive tobacco control programs and changes in the presence and strength of tobacco control policies. It would also be useful to understand the relationships between specific comprehensive program components and policy changes.
  • Funding levels vary widely for overall tobacco control programs and the specific components within them. More information is needed about the relationships between funding levels for specific components and overall comprehensive program effectiveness.
  • In the U.S., state programs emphasize different goals for their comprehensive tobacco control programs (e.g., to increase the number of tobacco users who quit, reduce tobacco use among young people, or reduce exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke) and vary funding levels accordingly. More research is needed to examine how these differences modify overall program effectiveness.
  • Research is needed to examine the effects of comprehensive tobacco control programs on use of combustible tobacco products other than cigarettes (e.g., cigars and cigarillos), and noncombustible nicotine delivery products (e.g., e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products). Future studies could compare changes in use based on the presence or funding levels of program interventions/components directed at products other than cigarettes. Studies could also examine the effects of comprehensive tobacco control programs on product substitution (i.e., switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco) among tobacco users who do not quit.
  • Continued research is needed on the effectiveness of comprehensive tobacco control programs among subpopulations with high rates of tobacco use. It would also be useful to know more about the independent effectiveness of specific program components among these subpopulations.
  • Continued economic research is needed to examine cost-effectiveness of comprehensive tobacco control programs. Studies could also examine cost-effectiveness for specific program components.
  • Future economic research should assess changes in worker productivity (such as averted productivity losses attributable to reductions in tobacco use).

Study Characteristics

  • Included studies assessed comprehensive tobacco control programs in the United States (55 studies), Australia (2 studies), Canada (1 study), France (1 study), Ireland (1 study) and nations within the European Union (1 study).
  • Most of the U.S. studies evaluated comprehensive programs at the state level (48 studies from 10 states) with the remaining studies at the city (3 studies from New York City) and local or community level (4 studies from New York and Texas).

Publications

There are no publications for this systematic review.