Media campaign reduces smoking deaths

The Golden State offers evidence that funding media campaigns reduces smoking-related deaths.

By | December 14, 2000

The sun shines on 33,300 more people in California than it would have done, thanks to a Tobacco Control Programme associated with a reduction in deaths from heart disease. A team from the University of California performed a regression analysis on per capita cigarette consumption and rates of death from heart disease in California compared to the rest of the US; the results are published in 14 December New England Journal of Medicine (New Engl J Med 2000 343:1772-1777).

After the Programme was implemented in 1989, the rate of decline of mortality from heart disease in California compared to the rest of the US was significantly greater than pre-1989 rates, by 2.93 deaths per year per 100,000 population per year (p<0.001). These rates of decline were reduced after 1992, however, when the programme was cut back, and there were 8,300 more deaths than would have been expected had its initial effectiveness been maintained.

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