Cost-effectiveness of using mass media to prevent Tobacco use among youth and young adults: The finishIt campaign

Elizabeth C. Hair, David R Holtgrave, Alexa R. Romberg, Morgane Bennett, Jessica M. Rath, Megan C. Diaz, Donna M. Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mass media campaigns have been hailed as some of the most effective tobacco prevention interventions. This study examined the cost-effectiveness of the national tobacco prevention campaign, truth® FinishIt, to determine the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) saved and the return on investment (ROI). The cost–utility analysis used four main parameters: program costs, number of smoking careers averted, treatment costs, and number of QALYs saved whenever a smoking career is averted. Parameters were varied to characterize cost-effectiveness under different assumptions (base case, conservative, optimistic, and most optimistic). The ROI estimate compared campaign expenditures to the cost saved due to the campaign implementation. Analyses were conducted in 2019. The base case analysis indicated the campaign results in a societal cost savings of $3.072 billion. Under the most conservative assumptions, estimates indicated the campaign was highly cost-effective at $1076 per QALY saved. The overall ROI estimate was $174 ($144 in costs to smokers, $24 in costs to the smoker’s family, and $7 in costs to society) in cost savings for every $1 spent on the campaign. In all analyses, the FinishIt campaign was found to reach or exceed the threshold levels of cost savings or cost-effectiveness, with a positive ROI. These findings point to the value of this important investment in the health of the younger generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4312
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Cost effectiveness
  • Mass media
  • Tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost-effectiveness of using mass media to prevent Tobacco use among youth and young adults: The finishIt campaign'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this