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Health & Analytics Newsletter

Battelle Health & Analytics Newsletter

May 2015 - Issue 3

CDC Paper Demonstrates Cost Effectiveness of First Federally Funded Anti-Tobacco Campaign

Battelle researcher Dr. Robert Alexander, Jr. is the coauthor of a CDC study evaluating the cost effectiveness of an innovative national antismoking media campaign. A Cost Effectiveness Analysis of the First Federally Funded Antismoking Campaign, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (released March 2015), demonstrates that the 2012 Tips From Former Smokers campaign was a highly cost-effective mass media intervention in terms of premature deaths averted, life years saved (LY), and quality adjusted life years (QALY) gained among U.S. adult smokers.

Dr. Alexander, a CDC employee at the time, assisted with the creative development of the campaign and led the evaluation and analysis to determine the impact of the campaign including public attitudes towards smoking and quit attempt rates. In 2013, he coauthored a manuscript titled, Effects of the First Federally Funded U.S. Antismoking National Media Campaign which describes the main outcomes of the 2012 campaign. The cost effectiveness study showed that the Tips From Former Smokers campaign, with total campaign expenditures of about $48 million, spent approximately $480 per quitter, $2,820 per premature death averted, $390 per LY saved, and $270 per QALY gained. A widely accepted limit for the cost-effectiveness of a public health program is $50,000 per year of life saved.

Dr. Alexander joined the Battelle Health and Analytics Business Unit (HABU) in October of 2014. Previously, he was a Health Communications Specialist in the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, where he coordinated program research and evaluation activities and provided technical assistance to states and other entities on health communication and marketing strategies. His previous work includes formative research on the development of tobacco cessation campaigns for the Florida Department of Health and DoD/TRICARE. Dr. Alexander received his Ph.D. in health policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, his Masters in Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a B.S. in Public Health/Biology from Rutgers University.

In his new role as a Director of Business Development for the Battelle Health and Analytics Business Unit, Dr. Alexander will continue to offer his social science and communications expertise to CDC and other Battelle clients.