California Quits Smoking, Saves $86 Billion

This is amazing. California’s large-scale efforts to curb smoking have saved the state $86 BILLION in healthcare costs. And the kicker is, they only invested $1.8 billion in the program. Here's more, via Reuters:

The benefits of the program accrued very quickly and are very large," Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said in a statement.

Unlike many programs which center on teens, the California program focuses its tobacco-control efforts on adults through an aggressive media campaign and changes in public policy, such as promoting smoke-free environments.

"When adults stop smoking, you see immediate benefits in heart disease, with impacts on cancer and lung diseases starting to appear a year or two later," said Glantz, whose findings appear in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.

According to the study, the program prevented the sale of 3.6 billion packs of cigarettes -- worth $9.2 billion to the tobacco industry -- between 1989 and 2004.

The report may help persuade states to step up funding for such large-scale efforts to counteract the tobacco industry's $13 billion annual spending on smoking-related advertising and promotions.

Pretty cool! Actually, anti-smoking efforts and bans are showing promise. New search in the American Journal of Public Health has determined that banning smoking in the home helps kids develop negative attitudes towards smoking and deters them from experimenting—from Reuters.

Oh, and no incense either! They just found that incense-burning is linked to lung cancers. Moral of the story, smoke plus lungs equals bad.

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Sara - August 27, 2008 11:15 PM

That's interesting I never heard about the incense.. I can't remember the last time I used incense. Yoga classes used to have incense- but not at the gym.

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