Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Success in California

Photo Credit: Ben Heine
A recent peer-reviewed study shows that California's tobacco control program has saved billions in health care costs just within its first fifteen years. The full article can be viewed at

The study examined cigarette consumption, tobacco control expenditures, and health care costs in the years between 1980 and 2004. The most telling finding is that 86 billion dollars were saved in the first fifteen years of the program. The health care cost reductions observed were substantial, rapid, and grew over time. The savings in health care costs were fifty times what the program expenditures were!

California's program is unique in the sense that it focuses on media campaigns and policy which specifically target adults instead of teens and youth. Hopefully this report will be the proof that Wisconsin needs to ensure a well funded tobacco prevention and control program. This study shows that tobacco control programs not only reduce smoking and prevent disease, but also quickly and significantly reduce health care costs.

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