Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic in Colorado

Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic
Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic

COLORADO

The Problem

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, despite a significant decline in the number of people who smoke. Over 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking. This amounts to $170 billion in direct medical costs that could be saved every year if we could prevent youth from starting to smoke and help every person who smokes to quit.

silhouette of people and tobacco products

Colorado Key Facts
Key Facts

In 2017, 19.5% of U.S. high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among Colorado high school youth, 7.0% reported currently smoking cigarettes.

14.5% of adults smoked cigarettes in 2018; 5,100 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year; $1.9B was spent on healthcare costs due to smoking in 2009
14.5% of adults smoked cigarettes in 2018; 5,100 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year; $1.9B was spent on healthcare costs due to smoking in 2009

$1.2M

Was received from CDC for tobacco prevention and control activities in FY 2019

Public Health Response to Tobacco Use in Colorado

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. In 2006, Colorado became the 7th state to enact a comprehensive smoke-free law that prohibits smoking in all indoor areas of workplaces, restaurants, and bars. However, smoke-free efforts did not end in 2006. Upon request, the state provides research findings, data and analysis, and scientific consultation to communities, multiunit housing operators, hospitals, businesses, and colleges and universities that want to protect residents from secondhand smoke. In Colorado, at least 25 public housing authorities have adopted smoke-free policies for housing units, and seven colleges and universities have adopted tobacco-free campus policies, including the University of Colorado campuses in Boulder and Denver.


CDC’s Role in Advancing State Tobacco Control Programs

Colorado is one of 50 states plus DC that receives funding and technical support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support comprehensive tobacco control efforts and quitlines. The Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) is the lead federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. For decades, OSH has led public health efforts to prevent young people from using tobacco and to help all tobacco users to quit.


CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) Campaign Helps Colorado Smokers Quit Smoking

Despite significant progress, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the US. The good news is that 7 out of 10 smokers want to quit smoking. That is why since 2012 CDC has been educating the public about the consequences of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke and encouraging smokers to quit through a federally funded, national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers®. The campaign features former smokers suffering from the real consequences of smoking.

The Tips® campaign connects smokers with resources to help them quit, including a quitline number (1-800-QUIT-NOW) which routes callers to their state quitline. The Colorado quitline provides free cessation services, including counseling and medication. These services are effective in improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.

1-800-quit-now

“I was thinking about relapsing today and the new commercials came on. It changed my mind real fast. You don’t understand the power of these commercials until you have made the decision to quit. Terrie Hall makes me cry every time . . . that could easily be me.”

–Justin: January 2016

The 2019 Tips® campaign: The Colorado state quitline received a total of 15,470 calls from April 23rd – October 8th during the 2019 Tips® campaign.

Colorado Tobacco Prevention & Control Programs Reduce Healthcare Costs

Tobacco prevention and control activities are a public health “best buy.” Evidence-based, statewide tobacco control programs that are comprehensive, sustained, and accountable have been shown to reduce the number of people who smoke, as well as tobacco-related diseases and deaths. For every dollar spent on tobacco prevention, states can reduce tobacco-related health care expenditures and hospitalizations by up to $55. The longer and more states invest, the larger the reductions in youth and adult smoking. A comprehensive statewide tobacco control program includes efforts to:

1-prevent initiation of tobacco use especially among youth and young adults 2-promote cessation and assist tobacco users to quit 3-protect people from secondhand smoke
1-prevent initiation of tobacco use especially among youth and young adults 2-promote cessation and assist tobacco users to quit 3-protect people from secondhand smoke