INTRODUCTION: Since 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted the national Tips From Former Smokers public education campaign, which motivates smokers to quit by featuring people living with the real-life health consequences of smoking. Cost effectiveness, from the healthcare sector perspective, of the Tips From Former Smokers campaign was compared over 2012-2018 with that of no campaign.
METHODS: A combination of survey data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults that includes cigarette smokers and literature-based lifetime relapse rates were used to calculate the cumulative number of Tips From Former Smokers campaign‒associated lifetime quits during 2012-2018. Then, lifetime health benefits (premature deaths averted, life years saved, and quality-adjusted life years gained) and healthcare sector cost savings associated with these quits were assessed. All the costs were adjusted for inflation in 2018 U.S. dollars. The Tips From Former Smokers campaign was conducted and the survey data were collected during 2012-2018. Analyses were conducted in 2019.
RESULTS: During 2012-2018, the Tips From Former Smokers campaign was associated with an estimated 129,100 premature deaths avoided, 803,800 life years gained, 1.38 million quality-adjusted life years gained, and $7.3 billion in healthcare sector cost savings on the basis of an estimated 642,200 campaign-associated lifetime quits. The Tips From Former Smokers campaign was associated with cost savings per lifetime quit of $11,400, per life year gained of $9,100, per premature deaths avoided of $56,800, and per quality-adjusted life year gained of $5,300.
CONCLUSIONS: Mass-reach health education campaigns, such as Tips From Former Smokers, can help smokers quit, improve health outcomes, and potentially reduce healthcare sector costs.