LINDO Helps Stop Smoking

Since 1940, mortality from lung cancer has increased by 400 percent. This year alone, more than 400,000 smokers will die prematurely. The National Cancer Institute has funded studies for the last ten years, in the hope of finding effective ways to reduce smoking. Since, according to the Office of Technology Assessment, the annual costs of tobacco use - absenteeism, health care, and productivity loss - are more than $65 billion, this is an important effort economically as well as from the standpoint of concern for our friends and loved ones.

With this in mind, the ASSIST program (American Stop Smoking Intervention Study) will spend approximately $114 million over seven years to demonstrate that policy changes and informational programs can help smokers quit, and discourage young people from starting.

The problem is that a large number of funding proposals were submitted by disparate groups, and a decision had to be made on apportioning the available funds so as to best meet the government's criteria in regard to organizational experience, facilities and equipment, as well as geographical and demographic coverage.

So, after scientific peer review of the applications, a 0/1 integer linear program was constructed in LINDO to help accomplish NCI's goals. Nicholas Hall of Ohio State and Larry Kessler and Craig Stotts of the NCI built the model, which, through parametric analysis, was used to investigate many different outcomes. In the end, the NCI chose the funding plan proposed with the use of the LINDO program.

Readers interested in more detail should see "A Model for Making Funding Decisions at the National Cancer Institue", Operations Research, November 1992. For more information on LINDO, see our products pages. You can also download a trial version from the download page or order a version directly from our order page.

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