News from the FDA/CDC

Smoking-cessation attempts changed little over 7-year span



The majority of adult cigarette smokers in the United States try to quit each year, but there was little change in the rate of quit attempts from 2011 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cigarette smokers who attempted to quit in the past year, 2017

The median percentage of adult smokers who tried to quit cigarettes over the past year went from 64.9% in 2011 to 65.4% in 2017, CDC investigators reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, but the rate has gone down since 2014, when it reached 66.9%.

“The limited progress in increasing quit attempts … together with the variation in quit attempt prevalence among states, underscores the importance of enhanced efforts to motivate and help smokers to quit,” wrote Kimp Walton, MS, of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and associates.

State-specific trends in quit-attempt rates reflected the national situation. The prevalence of past-year cessation attempts went up significantly in four states (Kansas, Louisiana, Virginia, and West Virginia) from 2011 to 2017, went down significantly in two states (New York and Tennessee), and did not change significantly in the other 44 states and the District of Columbia, they wrote.

In 2017, cigarette smokers in Connecticut were the most likely to have tried to quit in the past year, with a rate of 71.6%. The only other places with rates greater than 70% were Delaware, D.C., New Jersey, and Texas. The lowest quit-attempt rate that year, 58.6%, belonged to Wisconsin, with Iowa and Missouri the only other states under 60%, the investigators reported based on data from annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys.

“Because most smokers make multiple quit attempts before succeeding, as many as 30 on average, tobacco dependence is viewed as a chronic, relapsing condition that requires repeated intervention. Smokers should be encouraged to keep trying to quit until they succeed, and health care providers should be encouraged to keep supporting smokers until they quit,” investigators wrote.

SOURCE: Walton K et al. MMWR. 2019 Jul 19;68(28):621-6.

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