MMWR News Synopsis for Friday, July 19, 2019

State-Specific Prevalence of Quit Attempts Among Adult Cigarette Smokers — United States, 2011–2017

CDC Media Relations
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The more often people try to quit smoking, the more likely they are to succeed. Increasing smoking cessation can reduce smoking-related disease, death, and healthcare expenditures. There is wide variation in quit-attempt prevalence across states, suggesting that states have an opportunity to further increase the prevalence of quit attempts. To assess state-specific trends in the prevalence of past-year quit attempts among adult cigarette smokers, CDC analyzed data from the 2011-2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for all 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), Guam, and Puerto Rico. In 2017, the prevalence of past-year quit attempts ranged from 58.6% (Wisconsin) to 72.3% (Guam). During 2011-2017, past-year quit attempts increased in four states (Kansas, Louisiana, Virginia, and West Virginia) and decreased in two states (New York and Tennessee). Proven tobacco control interventions, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, high-impact anti-tobacco mass media campaigns that promote free cessation resources like state quitlines, and barrier-free access to cessation treatments work together to prompt smokers to make quit attempts and to give them a better chance of quitting successfully.

Successive Norovirus Outbreaks at an Event Center — Nebraska, October–November, 2017

CDC Media Relations
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Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreak-associated acute gastroenteritis worldwide. It is highly contagious, resistant to many common commercial disinfectants, and can persist on environmental surfaces for up to two weeks. Extensive environmental decontamination and strict exclusion of all ill food handlers until at least 48 hours after their symptoms resolve are needed to stop outbreaks in settings like the event center discussed in this article. In October of 2017, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) was notified by a local health department of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness among people who attended a wedding reception at an event center. Shortly thereafter, state and local public health officials started receiving reports of similar illnesses among attendees of subsequent events at the same facility. Overall, 159 cases consistent with norovirus infection were identified among employees and people who attended events at the facility from October 27-November 18, 2017. The virus was likely transmitted through a combination of persistently contaminated environmental surfaces and ill food handlers. Transmission was halted only after the facility was thoroughly cleaned and a strict policy excluding ill employees was enforced.

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Page last reviewed: July 18, 2019