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BMJ Open. 2018 Mar 23;8(3):e019169. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019169.

Projecting the effects of tobacco control policies in the USA through microsimulation: a study protocol.

Author information

1
Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
2
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.
3
Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
4
Cornerstone Systems Northwest Inc., Lynden, Washington, USA.
5
Independent consultant, Washington, DC, USA.
6
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
7
Department of Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the USA but can be reduced through policy interventions. Computational models of smoking can provide estimates of the projected impact of tobacco control policies and can be used to inform public health decision making. We outline a protocol for simulating the effects of tobacco policies on population health outcomes.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS:

We extend the Smoking History Generator (SHG), a microsimulation model based on data from the National Health Interview Surveys, to evaluate the effects of tobacco control policies on projections of smoking prevalence and mortality in the USA. The SHG simulates individual life trajectories including smoking initiation, cessation and mortality. We illustrate the application of the SHG policy module for four types of tobacco control policies at the national and state levels: smoke-free air laws, cigarette taxes, increasing tobacco control programme expenditures and raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco. Smoking initiation and cessation rates are modified by age, birth cohort, gender and years since policy implementation. Initiation and cessation rate modifiers are adjusted for differences across age groups and the level of existing policy coverage. Smoking prevalence, the number of population deaths avoided, and life-years gained are calculated for each policy scenario at the national and state levels. The model only considers direct individual benefits through reduced smoking and does not consider benefits through reduced exposure to secondhand smoke.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:

A web-based interface is being developed to integrate the results of the simulations into a format that allows the user to explore the projected effects of tobacco control policies in the USA. Usability testing is being conducted in which experts provide feedback on the interface. Development of this tool is under way, and a publicly accessible website is available at http://www.tobaccopolicyeffects.org.

KEYWORDS:

cigarette tax; microsimulation; minimum age of legal access to tobacco; policy simulation; smoke-free air law; tobacco control policy

PMID:
29574440
PMCID:
PMC5875683
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019169
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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