CDC Report: 70 Percent of Smokers Want to Quit

Here’s something to think about if you feel like you’ll never be able to quit smoking: more than half of Americans who ever smoked have quit, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s good news for anyone who plans to quit smoking on Nov. 17 – the Great American Smokeout, which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to stop using tobacco.

“Smokers who try to quit can double or triple their chances by getting counseling, medicine, or both,” said CDC Director Thomas F. Frieden in a news release.

The CDC report, made public Nov. 10, also shows that 70 percent of smokers wish they could kick the habit. More than half have attempted to quit within the past 12 months.

Other findings include:

  • Forty-eight percent of smokers who saw a medical professional in the past were told to quit smoking.
  • Thirty-two percent sought counseling or took medications to quit smoking.

Health officials say it’s never too late to quit smoking. After just one year of being smoke-free, your risk of having a heart attack drops. Between two and five years, your risk of having a stroke is the same as that of a non-smoker. And the longer you quit smoking, the better your chances for not getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and lung.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Surgeon General

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