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CDC: Most American Smokers Want to Quit, Most Fail

Friday, 11 Nov 2011 05:32 PM

Many smokers want to quit -- and over half of them try -- but just
6 percent succeed, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Counseling and medication can double or triple a smoker's chances of quitting, but most who tried to quit last year didn't use either, based on surveys of more than 27,000 adults in the U.S.

About 69 percent of adult smokers reported wanting to quit last year, and 52 percent said they tried. Yet just 6 percent managed to actually do it. The report also found that blacks had the highest interest in quitting, but the lowest rate of success (3 percent). College-educated smokers succeeded in quitting far more often than those with less than 12 years of schooling: 11 percent versus 3 percent.

The findings suggest more needs to be done to help smokers quit, said Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.

The good news is the report found the majority of smokers -- about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. -- want to quit, and the number of young adults between 25 and 44 who want to quit is on the rise.

"We think that's incredibly important and the influence perhaps of large policy shifts in the U.S." such as smoke-free laws and excise taxes," says McAfee.

Half the states in the nation now have comprehensive smoke-free laws in place, McAfee adds, but no additional states have been added to that list this year. The most recent state to go smoke-free was South Dakota in November of 2010.

Meanwhile, the government plan to add graphic warning labels to cigarette packs -- such as a man exhaling smoke through a hole in his throat -- has been put on hold, while courts decide whether doing so impedes tobacco companies' constitutional right to free speech.

Tobacco use and secondhand smoke kills about 443,000 in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC.


© HealthDay

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