Cost and Threshold Analysis of the FinishIt Campaign to Prevent Youth Smoking in the United States
Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 20001, USA
School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12144, USA
College of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081662
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 August 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
In 2014, Truth Initiative launched the national FinishIt campaign to prevent smoking initiation among youth and young adults. The significant changes in the communications landscape requires further analysis to determine resource requirements for public education campaigns relative to their impact. This analysis estimates the cost of the FinishIt campaign based on data from expenditure records and uses published estimates of the lifetime treatment costs and quality-adjusted life years associated with smoking. The total cost of the FinishIt campaign for 2014–2016 was $162 million. Under assumptions associated with the pessimistic base-case (no medical care costs saved through prevention), 917 smoking careers would need to be averted for the campaign to be cost-effective. Assuming smoking leads to increased medical care costs, 7186 smoking careers would need to be averted for the campaign to be cost-saving. Given these thresholds (917 and 7186) and the estimate of the impact of the previous truth campaign, the investments in the Truth Initiative’s FinishIt campaign are likely warranted for preventing smoking careers among youth and young adults.