University of Washington, Prevention Research Center
Researchers from the University of Washington PRCexternal icon and their partners at health departments in Washington State and Oregon assessed health care costs and smoking rates associated with three tobacco-control strategies for the state of Washington:
- A comprehensive tobacco prevention and control program in Washington State (2000-2011).
- Washington’s statewide ban on smoking in public places (Initiative 901), in force since late 2005.
- Washington’s multiple increases in cigarette taxes, which added $1.20 to the per-pack price from 2000 to 2008.
The combined program, policy, and price interventions led to less people smoking and fewer related health effects, while saving money. Since the completion of the study, there has been an additional $1.00 increase in cigarette pricing per pack. During the 2012 legislative session, available funding was directed to restore a portion of the comprehensive program for 1 year.
Public Health and other leaders should continue to invest in tobacco control.