Modeling the Impact of Smoking-Cessation Treatment Policies on Quit Rates

David T. Levy, Amanda L. Graham, Patricia L. Mabry, David B. Abrams, C. Tracy Orleans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Smoking-cessation treatment policies could yield substantial increases in adult quit rates in the U.S. Purpose: The goals of this paper are to model the effects of individual cessation treatment policies on population quit rates, and to illustrate the potential benefits of combining policies to leverage their synergistic effects. Methods: A mathematical model is updated to examine the impact of five cessation treatment policies on quit attempts, treatment use, and treatment effectiveness. Policies include: (1) expand cessation treatment coverage and provider reimbursement; (2) mandate adequate funding for the use and promotion of evidence-based, state-sponsored telephone quitlines; (3) support healthcare system changes to prompt, guide, and incentivize tobacco treatment; (4) support and promote evidence-based treatment via the Internet; and (5) improve individually tailored, stepped-care approaches and the long-term effectiveness of evidence-based treatments. Results: The annual baseline population quit rate is 4.3% of all current smokers. Implementing any policy in isolation is projected to increase the quit rate to between 4.5% and 6%. By implementing all five policies in combination, the quit rate is projected to increase to 10.9%, or 2.5 times the baseline rate. Conclusions: If fully implemented in a coordinated fashion, cessation treatment policies could reduce smoking prevalence from its current rate of 20.5% to 17.2% within 1 year. By modeling the policy impacts on the components of the population quit rate (quit attempts, treatment use, treatment effectiveness), key indicators are identified that need to be analyzed in attempts to improve the effect of cessation treatment policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S364-372
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number3 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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