Smoking is the single most preventable cause of mortality. Over 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, are attributable to smoking, and treatment of tobacco-related conditions imposes substantial health care costs.

Much of the focus in recent years has been on reducing smoking initiation by youth, but PIRE research shows that these policies have had limited effects on overall smoking rates in the near term. Furthermore, many of the health effects of smoking occur years after initiation.

Quitting smoking can halt or even reverse many of the health problems associated with smoking. PIRE's studies have established that reducing the number of smokers will improve our nation’s health in both the long-term and immediate future and may reduce work loss.

PIRE researchers developed a computer simulation model, called SimSmoke, to predict the impact of many different tobacco policies on smoking rates, disease, and death.

PIRE researchers also have compared the health impact of smoking to the risks associated with use of low-carcinogen smokeless tobacco.


Advertising and Culture

Advertising and marketing influence people's attitudes and behaviors involving tobacco use. That influence can either promote or reduce smoking, depending on the message.

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Health Effects

PIRE researchers have examined both the health impact of smoking at the population level and the relative impact of smoking compared to use of an alternative tobacco product.  The computer simulation model SimSmoke, developed by PIRE researchers, predicts trends in smoking rates and associated disease and death, as well as the impact of many different tobacco policies on smoking rates and health outcomes.

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Prevention

Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive drug.  While short-run impact on public health requires smoking cessation efforts, preventing the initiation of use is the best way in the long run to reduce diseases and deaths related to tobacco.

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Smoking and Other Tobacco Use

Understanding and tracking the consumption of tobacco provides important information about how to prevent tobacco-related illnesses and premature death.

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Tobacco Control

Tobacco control policies have been shown to reduce tobacco use and tobacco-related disease. These policies include laws and enforcement preventing sales to youth under 18, clean air laws, media campaigns, smoking cessation treatment policies, and most importantly, taxation.

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Treatment

Stopping tobacco use can reduce the risk of developing tobacco-related diseases. PIRE has studied the effects of smoking cessation on different groups, and developed and evaluated programs to help people quit smoking.

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