CDC: 7-in-10 smokers want to quit; half have tried in past year

ATLANTA — 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 released Thursday.

As many as 68.8% of current American adult smokers reported they want to quit and 52.4% of adult smokers tried to quit within the past year. Less than half (48.3%) of smokers who saw a health professional in the past year recalled getting advice to quit and 31.7% used counseling and/or medications in the past year. The use of these effective treatments can almost double to triple rates of successfully quitting.

“Smokers who try to quit can double or triple their chances by getting counseling, medicine, or both," CDC director Thomas Frieden said. "Other measures of increasing the likelihood that smokers will quit as they want to include hard-hitting media campaigns, 100% 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 healthcare settings, as well as all workplaces and public places smoke-free, offers smokers additional encouragement to help them quit. The report also noted the healthcare 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

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