Table 2.26. Percentage (and 95% confidence interval) of women aged 18 years or older who used selected methods to quit smoking during most recent attempt, by smoking status, National Health Interview Survey, United States, 1987 and 1992

Methods used for most recent attempt to quit smoking19871992
Former smokersCurrent smokersFormer smokersCurrent smokers *
"Stop cold turkey" ** 87.4 (±1.4)73.0 (±2.2)88.1 (±2.2)87.2 (±2.6)
Gradually decrease number of cigarettes smoked in a day9.5 (±1.3)17.9 (±1.8)25.4 (±2.9)53.0 (±3.5)
Switch to lower-tar or lower-nicotine cigarettes4.1 (±0.9)6.6 (±1.2)17.7 (±2.6)47.2 (±3.6)
Stop smoking along with friends or relatives4.1 (±0.9)5.8 (±1.1)10.5 (±2.0)15.1 (±3.0)
Follow instructions in book or pamphlet1.0 (±0.4) § 4.0 (±0.9)3.9 (±1.5)6.5 (±2.0)
Use a stop-smoking clinic or programNA >§<§ NA3.4 (±1.3)5.4 (±1.7)
Use Nicorette gum 2.0 (±0.7)4.6 (±1.0)2.4 (±1.2)§ 5.8 (±1.9)
Use special filters¶¶ 2.2 (±0.7)2.7 (±0.9)NANA
Participate in Great American Smoke-Out1.3 (±0.5)§ 2.7 (±0.7)NANA
Use some other method6.1 (±1.1)7.1 (±1.4)9.0 (±1.9)9.1 (±2.3)

Note: Results total >100% because multiple responses were possible. Current smokers were persons who reported smoking > 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and who smoked at the time of the survey. Former smokers had smoked > 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and were not smoking at the time of the survey.

Current smokers who had attempted to quit smoking for reasons other than sickness.


Defined as "stopping all at once without cutting down."


Estimate should be interpreted with caution because of the small number of respondents.


NA= Not available.

A prescription nicotine chewing gum.


To regulate amount of smoke inhaled.Sources: National Center for Health Statistics, Cancer Control Supplements, public use data tapes, 1987, 1992.

From: Chapter 2. Patterns of Tobacco Use Among Women and Girls

Cover of Women and Smoking
Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Office on Smoking and Health (US).

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