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J Health Commun. 2010;15 Suppl 3:264-78. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.526172.

Awareness and use of tobacco quitlines: evidence from the Health Information National Trends Survey.

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  • 1Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Center for Cancer Training, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892-7361, USA.


Smoking quitlines, with their demonstrated efficacy and convenience, have become integral to tobacco control efforts in the United States. However, use of quitlines in smoking cessation remains low relative to their potential. To increase quitline use in the United States, a better understanding of current awareness of quitlines is needed. We analyzed data from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (n = 7,674) to identify factors associated with awareness and use of quitlines. Data were weighted to provide representative estimates of the adult U.S. population. Of those surveyed, approximately 50% were aware of quitlines (65% of current smokers) and 3.5% had called a quitline (9% of current smokers). Current and former smokers were significantly more likely to be aware of quitlines than never smokers (p < .01). Age, ethnicity, and education were significantly related to quitline awareness. Looking for health information (OR = 1.40, CI = 1.14-1.73) and having more trust in the government as a source of health information (OR = 1.25, CI = 1.05-1.48) were associated with awareness. Current smoking status was strongly associated with quitline use (OR = 9.25, CI = 3.18-26.85). Respondents who looked for health or medical information from any source, had a personal or family history of cancer, and reported psychological distress were more likely to have called a quitline. While awareness of quitlines appears to be high, quitline utilization is low. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

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