Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic in Missouri

Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic
Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic

MISSOURI

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

Missouri Key Facts
Key Facts

In 2017, 20.8% of Missouri high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among Missouri high school youth, 9.2% reported currently smoking cigarettes.

19.4% of adults smoked cigarettes in 2018; 11,000 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year; $3.0B was spent on healthcare costs due to smoking in 2009
19.4% of adults smoked cigarettes in 2018; 11,000 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year; $3.0B was spent on healthcare costs due to smoking in 2009

$1.4M

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

Public Health Response to Tobacco Use in Missouri

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Missouri is focused on increasing tobacco-free and smoke-free campuses at Missouri colleges and universities. Tobacco-free environments mean that no tobacco product is used at any time, whereas smoke-free environments prohibit the use of combusted tobacco products only. Smoke-free and tobacco-free environments prevent initiation, encourage quitting, and protect nonsmokers from the harms of secondhand smoke exposure. Missouri’s tobacco control program partnered with colleges and universities to educate stakeholders on the importance of having tobacco-free campuses. By 2016, Missouri had increased the number of colleges or universities that are smoke-free from 26 to 32—and five of these campuses are fully tobacco-free. These policies protect more than 200,000 Missouri students throughout the state from secondhand smoke.


CDC’s Role in Advancing State Tobacco Control Programs

Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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

Incoming calls to the Missouri state quitline increased by an average 104% during the 2019 Tips® campaign. The Missouri state quitline received a total of 8,418 calls from April 23rd – October 8th during the 2019 Tips® campaign.

Missouri 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