212122 Evaluation of Tobacco Control Policies

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lauren N. Whiteman, MPH , Department of Health Policy and Management, University of South Florida, Coral Springs, FL
Introduction: The Surgeon General first warned of the dangers of cigarettes in 1964. Since smoking has been demonstrated to be the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking contributes to an individual's risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cerbrovascular disease. Various measures have been undertaken in the last 45 years to encourage smokers to quit, which include taxes on tobacco products, banning smoking in public places, and restricting tobacco advertisements.

Methods: In order to determine which type of policy is most effective in deterring smoking an extensive literature review was completed. Studies were analyzed to evaluate the strengths and weakness to each approach, as well as, to gain a better understanding of the theory and reasoning behind each type of policy.

Results: Taxes- Cigarettes are addictive, which causes them to be price inelastic. In other words, an increase in price has little effect on consumption. Smoking Bans- Studies have demonstrated that smoking bans reduce the demand for cigarettes. Also, bans may increase revenue in bars and clubs. Advertising Restrictions-Advertising restrictions have little effect on the consumer side of demand, but these restrictions can lower producer demand by decreasing price competition.

Conclusion: The most effective individual policy to combat tobacco use would be a smoking ban, because it lowers demand, protects nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, and lowers smoking initiation by teenagers. Although the best policy approach is to combine all three policies. These policies build off of each other and have an endogenous effect.

Learning Objectives:
1.Compare various tobacco control policies. 2.Evaluate tobacco control policies.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied tobacco control policy as part of my degree program. I also completed an internship working on analyzing tobacco control policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.