Exploring Scenarios to Dramatically Reduce Smoking Prevalence

Healthy People 2010 set an ambitious goal of reducing smoking prevalence to 12 percent by the year 2010. While this goal most likely will not be met, researchers turn their attention to new approaches needed to further reduce smoking prevalence.

Researchers of this study used SimSmoke, a simulation model that is useful for understanding and predicting how changes in specific inputs, i.e., treatments, can lead to changes in outputs, i.e., quit rates. Through individual 100 percent increases in quit attempts, treatment use, and treatment effectiveness, the study shows the projected 2020 smoking prevalence falling to 13.9 percent, 16.7 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively. This analysis shows smoking prevalence falling below the Healthy People 2010 goal, but as the researchers state, "with a combined 100 percent increase in all components, the goal of a 12 percent adult smoking prevalence could be reached by 2012."

This study shows the importance of smoking cessation, but also demonstrates the importance all three parts—quit attempts, increased treatment use and increased treatment effectiveness—play in reducing smoking prevalence.