Cost-utility analysis of the National truth campaign to prevent youth smoking

Am J Prev Med. 2009 May;36(5):385-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.01.020. Epub 2009 Feb 11.


Background: In 2005, the American Journal of Public Health published an article that indicated that 22% of the overall decline in youth smoking that occurred between 1999 and 2002 was directly attributable to the truth social marketing campaign launched in 2000. A remaining key question about the truth campaign is whether the economic investment in the program can be justified by the public health outcomes; that question is examined here.

Methods: Standard methods of cost and cost-utility analysis were employed in accordance with the U.S. Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; a societal perspective was employed.

Results: During 2000-2002, expenditures totaled just over $324 million to develop, deliver, evaluate, and litigate the truth campaign. The base-case cost-utility analysis result indicates that the campaign was cost saving; it is estimated that the campaign recouped its costs and that just under $1.9 billion in medical costs was averted for society. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the basic determination of cost effectiveness for this campaign is robust to substantial variation in input parameters.

Conclusions: This study suggests that the truth campaign not only markedly improved the public's health but did so in an economically efficient manner.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Cost Savings
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Smoking / economics
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Marketing*
  • United States