Thursday, July 25, 2019

Most Smokers Want (and Have Tried) to Quit

Don't get mad at smokers when you're dodging second-hand smoke on city streets, in doorways, alleys, and parking lots. Feel sorry for them instead. Most smokers do not want to smoke. Most have tried to quit—not just once upon a time but within the past year.

According to a government survey, 65 percent of adult smokers have attempted to quit in the past year. This surprisingly large figure is not big enough, says the CDC, which wants to see the attempted quit rate rise to 80 percent by 2020. Why is a larger number so important? Because the more smokers who attempt to quit, the more who will succeed. Apparently, quitting takes a lot of practice. Smokers who manage to quit have tried to do so an average of 30 times, the CDC reports.

Percentage of smokers who have attempted to quit in the past year by age, 2017
Total 18-plus: 65.4%
Aged 18 to 24: 76.4%
Aged 25 to 44: 68.6%
Aged 45 to 64: 60.8%
Aged 65-plus: 55.8%

In every state, most smokers have tried to quit in the past 12 months. The percentage ranges from a low of 58.6 percent in Wisconsin to a high of 71.6 percent in Connecticut.

Source: CDC, State-Specific Prevalence of Quit Attempts among Adult Cigarette Smokers—United States, 2011–2017

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