Reaching Healthy People 2010 by 2013

Implementing multiple public health tobacco-control policies simultaneously brings the nation closer to the goal of Healthy People 2010.

One goal of Healthy People 2010 is to reduce adult smoking prevalence to 12 percent by 2010. Whether or not that goal is met, hefty increases in cessation are necessary to achieve major reductions in smoking over the next 15 years. The best way to accomplish this is through evidence-based smoking cessation treatment policies.

Researchers used the SimSmoke tobacco policy simulation to test the effects of three public health tobacco-control policies:

  • A 10 percent increase in pack price would lead to a 10 percent increase in quit rates and a 10 percent increase in treatment use.
  • Implementing smoke-free indoor air laws at the workplace would increase quit attempts and treatment use each by 50 percent among workers who smoke.
  • Mass media/educational policies would lead to a 20 percent increase in quit attempts, a 15 percent increase in treatment use and a 15 percent increase in treatment effectiveness.

The effects of evidence-based and promising cessation treatment policies were also were estimated. Results from this study suggest that the Healthy People 2010 goal can be reached before 2020 if a comprehensive set of policies are implemented. With all policies in effect simultaneously, the goal can be reached by 2013.

This article is part of a special issue on tobacco cessation in the March 2010 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.