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New study shows smokers underutilize proven treatment and services for quitting

70 percent of smokers want to quit as nation approaches the Great American Smokeout Most American adults who smoke wish they could quit, and more than half have tried within the past year, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report says 68.8 percent of current American adult smokers say they want to quit and 52.4 percent of adult smokers tried to quit within the past year.  The report says 48.3 percent of smokers who saw a health professional in the past year recalled getting advice to quit and 31.7 percent used counseling and/or medications in the past year. The use of these effective treatments can almost double to triple rates of successfully quitting.

"More than two thirds of smokers want to quit smoking and more than half tried to quit last year," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  "Smokers who try to quit can double or triple their chances by getting counseling, medicine, or both.  Other measures of increasing the likelihood that smokers will quit as they want to include hard-hitting media campaigns, 100 percent smoke-free policies, and higher tobacco prices."

The analysis is in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report is being published in conjunction with the annual Great American Smokeout, observed this year on Nov. 17. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Smokeout encourages smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.

According to the report, making health care settings as well as all workplaces and public places smoke-free offers smokers additional encouragement to help them quit.  The report also notes the health care industry can increase successful quit attempts by providing comprehensive insurance coverage with no deductibles or co-payments for cessation treatments and services. 

Smokers can get free resources and help quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visiting www.smokefree.govExternal Web Site Icon.

"Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do for their health and the health of their families," said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "We know that quitting can be challenging, but more than half of Americans who ever smoked have quit and you can too.  Talk to your health care provider and call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help." 

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung diseases, in the United States.  Smoking and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke kill an estimated 443,000 Americans each year.  For every 1 smoking-related death, another 20 people live with a smoking-related disease. President Obama and his Administration are committed to helping adults quit and preventing kids from starting tobacco.

Earlier this year, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched Million Hearts, an initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.  The initiative focuses on two main goals: empowering Americans to make healthy choices, and improving care for people, focusing on the ABCS (Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation).
Smoking causes about 130,000 cardiovascular disease deaths per year in the United States. More than 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year, and treatment for these conditions and other vascular diseases account for approximately 1 of every 6 health care dollars.  Approximately 26 percent of heart attacks and 12-19 percent of strokes are attributable to smoking. For more information on Million Hearts, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.govExternal Web Site Icon.
 

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