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Risk Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2005 DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00647.x Estimating the Health Impacts of Tobacco Harm Reduction
 

Summary: Risk Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2005 DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00647.x
Estimating the Health Impacts of Tobacco Harm Reduction
Policies: A Simulation Modeling Approach
Sajjad Ahmad1 and John Billimek2
With adult smoking prevalence rates declining too slowly to reach national objectives, opin-
ion leaders are considering policies to improve tobacco-related outcomes by regulating the
composition of cigarettes to be (1) less harmful and/or (2) less addictive. Because harm re-
duction efforts may actually encourage higher cigarette consumption by promoting a safer
image, and addictiveness reduction may increase the harmfulness of cigarettes by encour-
aging compensatory smoking behaviors, policymakers must consider the tradeoffs between
these two approaches when proposing legislation to control cigarette content. To estimate
health impacts, we developed a dynamic computer model simulating changes in the age- and
gender-specific smoking behaviors of the U.S. population over time. Secondary data for model
parameters were obtained from publicly available sources. Population health impacts were
measured as change in smoking prevalence and the change in cumulative quality-adjusted
life-years (QALYs) in the U.S. population over 75 years. According to the risk-use threshold
matrix generated by the simulation, modifying cigarettes to reduce their harmfulness and/or
addictiveness could result in important gains to the nation's health. Addictiveness reduction
efforts producing a 60% improvement in smoking behavior change probabilities would pro-
duce a net gain in population health at every plausible level of increase of smoking-related

  

Source: Ahmad, Sajjad - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

 

Collections: Engineering