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New Poll Finds Millions Of Smokers Nationwide Resolving To Quit In The New Year

Although underutilized (or overlooked), healthcare providers can provide helpful support and tools to increase a smoker's chance of quitting

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New results from a national online public opinion poll of Americans 18 and older show that 34 percent of smokers plan to quit smoking as a New Year's resolution in 2013. Among survey respondents, only 18 percent reported that quitting smoking was a New Year's resolution in 2012, yet twice as many of these respondents will resolve to quit in 2013. The poll showed that increasing costs of cigarettes (67 percent) and concerns about the health risks associated with smoking (58 percent) are two of the key factors motivating smokers to contemplate quitting as a resolution for 2013.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101101/DC86294LOGO)

The poll, conducted on behalf of Legacy®* – a national tobacco education foundation – found that on average, those who committed to quit in 2012 stayed quit for just about a month (30 days), and for more than half (59 percent) of those quitters, it was the longest they had ever stayed quit.

"Research has shown that most smokers who quit on January 1 struggle to stay quit as the days and weeks go on," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. "Many smokers may have begun their New Year's quit attempt and have already relapsed and that's okay. We need to encourage them to build a quit plan and then try to quit again. On average, research has shown that smokers make up to 6-9 attempts before they finally quit for good, which is why it is so important to remind smokers to quit with support and methods that have proven success."

While it is positive news that more of the surveyed smokers are planning to quit in 2013 than in 2012, data reveals that many of them are still overlooking resources and practices that can lead to successful quitting:

  • More than half (53 percent) of the smokers surveyed have not talked about quitting smoking with their healthcare providers (HCPs) in the last 12 months. Using over-the-counter and prescription medications – both nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) and non-nicotine prescription medications – can improve a smoker's chance of quitting.
  • Of those surveyed, only 39 percent used a non-prescription product like gums, lozenges or patches, during their last quit attempt.
  • Even fewer (13 percent) used a prescription medication to help them quit during this most recent attempt.

"The fact that more than half of smokers are still not speaking with their HCPs about quitting shows that we have a significant missed opportunity on our hands.  Healthcare providers play a critical role in reaching smokers with support and resources for quitting," said Dr. Healton.

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