2007 National Conference on Tobacco or Health

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Exhibit Hall

Kentucky's SimSmoke Model: Using Policy to Reduce Smoking Prevalence

Cindy Tworek, MPH PhD, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Center for Public Health Improvement and Innovation, ctworek@pire.org, David Levy, PhD, levy@pire.org.

Learning Objectives: Describe results of comprehensive tobacco control policies in the Kentucky SimSmoke Model on smoking prevalence and lives saved, highlighting their important effects in states with high smoking rates and weak policies.

Problem/Objective: Kentucky is a state that has high smoking rates and weak tobacco control policies. The Kentucky SimSmoke Model is a computer simulation model adapted and used to examine the potential impact of various stronger tobacco control policies on Kentucky's smoking rates. The SimSmoke Model can capture smoking prevalence in Kentucky as it evolves over time through initiation and cessation, behaviors which are also influenced by tobacco control policies.

Methods: SimSmoke is adapted and applied to Kentucky, as a well-tested dynamic simulation model of smoking trends, validated over the period 1993-2003. Smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths are projected over the period 2007-2026, considering changes in the following tobacco policies: taxes/prices; clean air laws; media campaigns; cessation programs; school education programs; and youth access policies.

Results: SimSmoke predicts well over the 1993-2003 time period, including larger annual decreases from 1999-2003. The Kentucky Model projects only a slow decline in smoking prevalence over the next 20 years if policies are maintained at 2006 levels. However, introducing a cumulative set of tobacco control policies, SimSmoke predicts smoking prevalence will fall to about 18.9% by 2011, which is 26.2% below the status quo level of 25.5%, and to about 14.0% by 2026. With these policies, over 17,000 lives saved are projected in total by 2026.

Conclusions: SimSmoke suggests that implementing stronger tobacco control policies can help Kentucky to both decrease smoking prevalence and save lives. These policies are especially important in a state like Kentucky, if we are to reach Healthy People 2010 goals.