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Cost-Effectiveness of Using Mass Media to Prevent Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults: The FinishIt Campaign

Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12144, USA
Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, NYU 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 2019, 16(22), 4312;
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
Mass media campaigns have been hailed as some of the most effective tobacco prevention interventions. This study examined the cost-effectiveness of the national tobacco prevention campaign, truth® FinishIt, to determine the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) saved and the return on investment (ROI). The cost–utility analysis used four main parameters: program costs, number of smoking careers averted, treatment costs, and number of QALYs saved whenever a smoking career is averted. Parameters were varied to characterize cost-effectiveness under different assumptions (base case, conservative, optimistic, and most optimistic). The ROI estimate compared campaign expenditures to the cost saved due to the campaign implementation. Analyses were conducted in 2019. The base case analysis indicated the campaign results in a societal cost savings of $3.072 billion. Under the most conservative assumptions, estimates indicated the campaign was highly cost-effective at $1076 per QALY saved. The overall ROI estimate was $174 ($144 in costs to smokers, $24 in costs to the smoker’s family, and $7 in costs to society) in cost savings for every $1 spent on the campaign. In all analyses, the FinishIt campaign was found to reach or exceed the threshold levels of cost savings or cost-effectiveness, with a positive ROI. These findings point to the value of this important investment in the health of the younger generation. View Full-Text
Keywords: tobacco control; mass media; cost effectiveness tobacco control; mass media; cost effectiveness
MDPI and ACS Style

Hair, E.C.; Holtgrave, D.R.; Romberg, A.R.; Bennett, M.; Rath, J.M.; Diaz, M.C.; Vallone, D.M. Cost-Effectiveness of Using Mass Media to Prevent Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults: The FinishIt Campaign. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4312.

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