New CDC Report Finds Adult Smokers Trying Multiple Ways to Quit, Confirms Need for Education and Affordable, Proven Quit Smoking Methods
(April 13, 2017) - CHICAGO
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Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study on "Quit Methods Used by US Adult Cigarette Smokers, 2014-2016," published today in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease:
"Tobacco use is a serious addiction, and this study shows how hard smokers are trying to quit – with three-quarters of smokers saying they tried multiple ways to quit during their most recent quit attempt. Breaking this addiction can be difficult. It is imperative that those ready to quit receive accurate information about evidence-based cessation methods and get the support they need to quit for good.
"It's important to understand that this study ranks cessation methods according to the most common ways people try to quit, not the effectiveness of those methods. We know what is effective in helping smokers quit – use of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cessation medications and evidence-based behavior change programs. While e-cigarettes appear on the report's list as a method people use to try to quit, the FDA has not found any e-cigarette safe and effective in helping smokers quit. Instead, over half of adult e-cigarette users continue to smoke cigarettes. This study highlights the need to further educate the public on proven effective methods to quit, so when they make that next quit attempt, they are set up for the greatest chance of quitting successfully. Initiatives like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 'Tips from Former Smokers' campaign, which direct smokers to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, provide smokers with evidence-based assistance.
"Quitting smoking is the single most important step an individual can take to improve their health. The American Lung Association believes that smokers should have access to all proven quit smoking treatments, and that health plans should not impose barriers like cost-sharing or limit the number of quit attempts per year or lifetime.
"For years, e-cigarette manufacturers have been making unproven quit smoking claims about their products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must crack down on these unproven therapeutic claims and clarify that e-cigarettes are tobacco products. It is also critical that Congress not grandfather in e-cigarettes currently on the market.
"The human and economic burden caused by tobacco use is enormous. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States – killing close to 500,000 Americans and leading to more than $332 billion in healthcare costs and lost economic productivity each year. More must be done to ensure that when someone is ready to quit smoking, that they understand which methods are proven effective and also have these quit smoking options available to them affordably and without barriers. With a vision of a world free of lung disease, the American Lung Association will continue its work to prevent tobacco use and to help smokers understand and access proven ways to end their tobacco addiction."
Learn more about proven quit smoking methods at Lung.org/stop-smoking, and e-cigarettes and lung health at Lung.org/ecigs. For media interested in speaking with an expert about e-cigarettes, tobacco use and lung health, contact Allison MacMunn at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7628.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.