The Impact of Implementing Tobacco Control Policies: The 2017 Tobacco Control Policy Scorecard

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Abstract

The Tobacco Control Scorecard, published in 2004, presented estimates of the effectiveness of different policies on smoking rates. Since its publication, new evidence has emerged. We update the Scorecard to include recent studies of demand-reducing tobacco policies for high-income countries. We include cigarette taxes, smoke-free air laws, media campaigns, comprehensive tobacco control programs, marketing bans, health warnings, and cessation treatment policies. To update the 2004 Scorecard, a narrative review was conducted on reviews and studies published after 2000, with additional focus on 3 policies in which previous evidence was limited: tobacco control programs, graphic health warnings, and marketing bans. We consider evaluation studies that measured the effects of policies on smoking behaviors. Based on these findings, we derive estimates of short-term and long-term policy effect sizes. Cigarette taxes, smoke-free air laws, marketing restrictions, and comprehensive tobacco control programs are each found to play important roles in reducing smoking prevalence. Cessation treatment policies and graphic health warnings also reduce smoking and, when combined with policies that increase quit attempts, can improve quit success. The effect sizes are broadly consistent with those previously reported for the 2004 Scorecard but now reflect the larger evidence base evaluating the impact of health warnings and advertising restrictions.

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