SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new study says California's tobacco prevention program saved $134 billion in health care costs over the last two decades.
The study published Wednesday in the science journal PLOS ONE found that for every dollar spent on the state's anti-smoking program, health care costs dropped by about $56.
University of California, San Francisco researchers attribute those savings to lower spending on health care due to people quitting or not starting, and those who do light up consuming fewer cigarettes each day.
California spent about $2.4 billion from 1989 through 2008 on one of the nation's most aggressive tobacco control programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is talking with the authors to see how their methodology may be integrated with other efforts to highlight the economic costs of smoking, as well as the potential cost savings of prevention programs.