The Tobacco Control Policy (TCP) Tool: a web-based interface to simulate the effects of tobacco policies in the United States
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University of Michigan, Health Management and Policy, United States of America
Georgetown University, United States of America
University of Michigan, Epidemiology, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A508
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Computational models of tobacco control policies that project their estimated impact on smoking and population health can be used to inform public health decision-making. To date, such models have not been made widely accessible for exploration by the general public or policymakers. We describe the iterative development process for extending a microsimulation model to evaluate the effects of tobacco control policies. The results from these simulations have been integrated into an interactive website for use by decision-makers and the public.

We adapt the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) microsimulation model to estimate the population health effects of four tobacco control interventions in the United States: 1) cigarette taxes, 2) smoke-free air laws, 3) tobacco control program expenditures, and 4) the minimum age of legal access to tobacco. The results of these simulations were pre-generated and then integrated into the Tobacco Control Policy (TCP) tool, a dynamic, interactive web-based user interface that allows the user to specify their own proposed policy conditions and explore the estimated effects of that policy on population health outcomes in the US through 2060. Three rounds of usability testing were conducted with experts in tobacco control during web development to improve the interface and ensure that it was responsive to user needs.

Model outcomes for each user-specified policy scenario include projections of future smoking prevalence, the number of deaths avoided, and the number of life-years gained. To increase its utility to state-level decision-makers, the model was extended to estimate these outcomes for each of the 50 states and Washington DC. The TCP tool website is available at

Tobacco control policySimulated policy scenarioDeaths avoided by 2060Life years gained by 2060Reduction in adult smoking prevalence by 2060
Cigarette taxesIncrease the price per pack of cigarettes by $1.00 at national level267,0704,930,3890.38 percentage points
Smoke-free air lawsIncrease smoke-free air law coverage to 100% of workplaces, restaurants, bars across all states101,8771,808,2330.14 percentage points
Tobacco control expendituresFund all state tobacco control programs at 100% of CDC recommendations91,5841,792,2810.73 percentage points
Minimum age of legal access (MLA)Raise the MLA from 18 to 21 for all states14,138552,0820.71 percentage points
[TCP tool estimates of select policy scenarios]

The TCP tool supports public health decision-making by allowing users to access the results of a complex microsimulation model of smoking and explore the potential health benefits of implementing tobacco control policies in their jurisdictions.

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