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Tobacco Policies in Louisiana: Recommendations for Future Tobacco Control Investment from SimSmoke, a Policy Simulation Model

Abstract

Despite the presence of tobacco control policies, Louisiana continues to experience a high smoking burden and elevated smoking-attributable deaths. The SimSmoke model provides projections of these health outcomes in the face of existing and expanded (simulated) tobacco control polices. The SimSmoke model utilizes population data, smoking rates, and various tobacco control policy measures from Louisiana to predict smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths. The model begins in 1993 and estimates are projected through 2054. The model is validated against existing Louisiana smoking prevalence data. The most powerful individual policy measure for reducing smoking prevalence is cigarette excise tax. However, a comprehensive cessation treatment policy is predicted to save the most lives. A combination of tobacco control policies provides the greatest reduction in smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths. The existing Louisiana excise tax ranks as one of the lowest in the country and the legislature is against further increases. Alternative policy measures aimed at lowering prevalence and attributable deaths are: cessation treatments, comprehensive smoke-free policies, and limiting youth access. These three policies have a substantial effect on smoking prevalence and attributable deaths and are likely to encounter more favor in the Louisiana legislature than increasing the state excise tax.

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Acknowledgments

The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s affiliated program, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, is funded by a state excise tax on tobacco administered by the Louisiana Cancer Research Coalition. TFL funds supported the entirety of this project.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

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Correspondence to Iben McCormick-Ricket.

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Levy, D., Fergus, C., Rudov, L. et al. Tobacco Policies in Louisiana: Recommendations for Future Tobacco Control Investment from SimSmoke, a Policy Simulation Model. Prev Sci 17, 199–207 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-015-0587-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-015-0587-2

Keywords

  • SimSmoke Model
  • Policy Simulation Model
  • Tobacco Control Policies
  • Louisiana Tobacco Control