Tuesday, February 19, 2013

California Tobacco Control Program Saved $134 Billion in Health Care

Associated Press

California's tobacco prevention program saved $134 billion in health care costs over the last two decades, according to a new study published Wednesday about the smoking control program's impacts in the most populous state.

California spent about $2.4 billion from 1989 through 2008 on one of the nation's most aggressive tobacco control programs, including buying up billboards and TV time to run ads against smoking, as well as promoting smoke-free environments and tobacco cessation programs.

The study by University of California, San Francisco researchers found that for every dollar spent on the state's anti-smoking program, health care costs dropped by about $56. Researchers attribute those savings to lower spending on health care due to people quitting or not starting, and those who do light up consuming fewer cigarettes each day.

Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and throughout the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But smoking is not as common in California as it is in other pockets of the country. Smoking rates are among the nation's lowest in California, at 12.1 percent, and highest in Kentucky, at 24.8 percent, the CDC found in 2010. The rate in 1988 in California was 23.7 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health.

To review a release outlining the study, go to the University of California San Francisco 
To download the study, click HERE.

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