Trends in Quit Attempts Among Adult Cigarette Smokers — United States, 2001–2013

October 16, 2015 / Vol. 64 / No. 40

 

 


MMWR Introduction

CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the years 2001-2010 and 2011–2013 to provide updated state-specific trends in quit attempts among adult smokers. During 2001-2010, the proportion of adult cigarette smokers who had made a quit attempt in the past 12 months increased in 29 states and the US Virgin Islands. During 2011-2013, quit attempts increased in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and decreased in New Mexico. In 2013, past year quit attempts were reported most frequently by smokers in Puerto Rico and Guam (76.4%) and least frequently by those in Kentucky (56.2%). In every state, older smokers were generally less likely to report a past year quit attempt than were younger smokers. These results reflect the importance of ongoing state-based surveillance and evaluation in examining state variations to identify health issues and disparities. These data can help states to develop health promotion and prevention programs and to monitor their progress in tobacco control.

Evaluating variation in health-risk behaviors and the use of health services is essential to developing interventions and promotion strategies that address public health at multiple levels. Proven interventions that increase cessation are critical to reducing smoking-related morbidity and mortality and include high-impact mass media campaigns, telephone-based tobacco cessation services (quitlines), higher prices for tobacco products, comprehensive smoke-free laws, better health insurance coverage of effective cessation treatments, and health systems changes to integrate tobacco dependence treatment into routine clinical care. With the requirement by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that non-grandfathered private insurance plans to cover FDA-approved cessation medications, access to effective cessation treatments is expected to increase.

The findings in this report support previous findings on variations in quit attempts among state and underscore the continued need for surveillance and evaluation of health-risk behaviors to guide preventive health care services. Variations by states in the proportion of cigarette smokers who reported having made a quit attempt in the past year might be attributed to a number of factors, including differences in population demographics; tobacco control program infrastructure, programs, and policies; and awareness, availability, accessibility, and use of smoking cessation treatments. Nationally, younger people, African Americans, and those with higher than a high-school diploma were more likely to report quit attempts in the last year than were older people, whites, and those with less education.

MMWR Highlights

Proportion of current cigarette smokers aged ≥18 who reported a quite attempt in the past year, 2001–2010

  • The proportion of smokers who reported a quit attempt during the preceding 12 months increased in 29 states and the US Virgin Islands.
  • The proportion of smokers who reported a quit attempt during the preceding 12 months decreased or remained unchanged in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Proportion of current cigarette smokers aged ≥18 who reported a quite attempt in the past year, 2013

  • The states and territories with the highest proportion of smokers who reported a quit attempt during the preceding 12 months were Puerto Rico and Guam (76.4%), District of Columbia (64.4%), Connecticut (72.5%), and Wisconsin (71.3%).
  • The states and territories with the lowest proportion of smokers who reported a quit attempt during the preceding 12 months were Kentucky (56.2%), North Dakota (58.7%), West Virginia (59.7%), Iowa (59.8%), and Delaware (60.2%).

 

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Page last reviewed: March 3, 2016 (archived document)