Bloomberg News

Smokers Could Triple Chance of Quitting With Help, CDC Says

November 17, 2011

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Smokers could double or triple their chances of quitting by getting counseling, medicine or both, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

About 69 percent of current smokers want to quit, and more than half have tried and failed within the last year, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Only 32 percent of patients used counseling or medications in the last year to help with the quitting attempt, the agency said today in a statement.

An estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke yearly in the U.S., and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by tobacco use, according to the Atlanta-based CDC. It’s also been linked to lung, larynx, esophageal and oral cancers.

“We know that quitting can be challenging, but more than half of Americans who ever smoked have quit, and you can, too,” said Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, in a statement. “Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do for their health and the health of their families.”

About half of smokers who saw a doctor in the last year said they were advised to kick the habit. Advice from a health professional increases the likelihood that smokers will try to quit and increases the likelihood that smokers will use medication to try.

--Editors: Chris Staiti, Angela Zimm

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in New York at elopatto@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.


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