Denman, A. R., Phillips, P. S., Groves-Kirkby, C. J., Timson, K., Shield, G., Rogers, S. and Campbell, J. (2010) Reducing lung cancer incidence by health campaigns : a review of the uptake, health benefits and cost effectiveness of smoking cessation and radon remediation programmes in Northamptonshire, UK. Third European International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) Congress, Helsinki, Finland, 14-18 June 2010.
Denman, A. R., Phillips, P. S., Groves-Kirkby, C. J., Timson, K., Shield, G., Rogers, S. and Campbell, J.
The greatest risk factor for lung-cancer is smoking, the second largest factor being raised radon levels at home. Initiatives to stop smoking and reduce domestic radon levels have met with some success, but in both cases a significant proportion of those affected fail to respond. The two risk factors combine, so that those who smoke and live in a house with high radon levels are at higher risk than if exposed to only one of the two threats. There is the potential for combined public health campaigns to better target those affected. Our group has studied both the smoking cessation and radon remediation programmes in Northamptonshire, UK, considering the costs and health benefits of each, and, using postal questionnaires, recording the demographics of participants. Our analysis suggests that the demographics of the two groups are significantly different. Those who remediate tend to be older, include fewer smokers and have fewer children. The health benefits from stopping smoking are greater than those from radon remediation, and the smoking cessation programme costs less per lung-cancer averted. In addition, the continuing reduction in smoking prevalence in the UK will reduce the effectiveness of radon remediation campaigns. This paper discusses the synergy between the programmes, and argues that there is merit in an integrated approach to these health campaigns, and in particular to extending smoking cessation programmes to include advice on reducing the risks from radon.