Interactive web tool shows potential impact of tobacco policies

September 27, 2017 by Laurel Thomas Gnagey, University of Michigan
Credit: University of Michigan

If the minimum age for buying tobacco legally were changed to 21, it could save more than 35,000 lives in Texas, 15,000 in Florida and more than 12,000 in Michigan by 2100, according to a new web application.

The Tobacco Control Policy (TCP) shows that raising the minimum age to 21 nationwide would save 306,000 lives. The tool was built by University of Michigan researchers and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) lung consortium.

This simulation model and web-based tool, hosted at the U-M School of Public Health, also shows the potential state-by-state impact of raising cigarette taxes, implementing smoke-free air laws and increasing tobacco control expenditures on deaths avoided and years of life gained.

The TCP tool is designed to be an interactive interface geared toward decision-makers and public health professionals, the researchers said.

"The hope is that the tool will help and policy decision-makers at the national, state and local level argue the benefits of tobacco control policies with numbers that are relevant for their own context," said Rafael Meza, associate professor of epidemiology, and coordinating principal investigator of the CISNET lung group.

Jamie Tam, doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Management and Policy and lead developer of the tool, explains that while simulation models can guide decision-making, they are rarely accessible to people outside of the research community.

"This web-based tool links simulation to their real-world application, and makes it easier for decision-makers to understand the population health benefits of different policies they are considering," Tam said.

To develop the tool, Meza's multi-institutional team gathered up-to-date information on existing tobacco control policies from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the American for Nonsmokers' Rights, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When calibrating the model, the CISNET lung consortium relied on estimates of the effects of policies available in the research literature. Where data was not available, they relied on expert opinions of the potential effects of policies on smoking.

Meza and Tam shared the tool at a National Cancer Institute Research to Reality webinar this week that also highlighted Hawaii's successful tobacco 21 campaign. Hawaii was the first state to raise to 21 the age at which young adults can buy tobacco. Smoking continues to be legal at age 18 but young people cannot buy until they turn 21.

Explore further: Smoking bans linked to drop in child hospital admissions

More information: Tobacco Control Policy tool: tobaccopolicyeffects.org/

Related Stories

Smoking bans linked to drop in child hospital admissions

September 6, 2017
Childhood chest infections needing hospital care may have dropped by as much as 20 per cent since anti-smoking laws were introduced, research suggests.

Global anti-smoking measures quadruple since 2007: WHO report

July 19, 2017
Warnings about the dangers of smoking and restrictions on tobacco use have quadrupled worldwide since 2007, but more needs to be done to curb this deadly habit, the UN health agency said Wednesday.

New findings address state and community tobacco control policies and practices

October 11, 2016
A new series of research papers presents key findings of state and community tobacco control research to help guide state and community tobacco control policies and practices. The papers were produced by investigators in ...

Raise the smoking age to 21? Most kids fine with that

June 19, 2017
(HealthDay)—Nearly two-thirds of U.S. teens support raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 years old, new research finds.

Smoking down, number of lives saved up as more countries embrace tobacco control measures

December 12, 2016
Between 2008 and 2014, more than 53 million people in 88 countries stopped smoking due to tobacco control measures, which means that more than 22 million smoking-related deaths have been averted, say researchers at the Georgetown ...

Stronger tobacco control policy in the Netherlands would save thousands of lives

September 26, 2011
A new study shows that 145,000 deaths could be averted in the next 30 years in the Netherlands by implementing stronger tobacco control policies. This set of policies, as recommended by the MPOWER report of the World Health ...

Recommended for you

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018
New research from the University of Southampton has found no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Study shows options to decrease risk of motor vehicle crashes for adolescent drivers

February 16, 2018
Adolescents who receive comprehensive and challenging on-road driving assessments prior to taking the license test might be protected from future motor vehicle crashes, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study ...

Being a single dad can shorten your life: study

February 15, 2018
The risk of dying prematurely more than doubles for single fathers compared to single mothers or paired-up dads, according to a study of Canadian families published Thursday.

Keeping an eye on the entire ageing process

February 15, 2018
Medical researchers often only focus on a single disease. As older people often suffer from multiple diseases at the same time, however, we need to rethink this approach, writes Ralph Müller.

Study suggests possible link between highly processed foods and cancer

February 14, 2018
A study published by The BMJ today reports a possible association between intake of highly processed ("ultra-processed") food in the diet and cancer.

Gov't says health costs to keep growing faster than economy

February 14, 2018
U.S. health care spending will keep growing faster than the overall economy in the foreseeable future, squeezing public insurance programs and employers who provide coverage, the government said Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.