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Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Dec 13;20(1):30-39. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw273.

Unassisted Quitting and Smoking Cessation Methods Used in the United States: Analyses of 2010-2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey Data.

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Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.
Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.



The study estimated the prevalence of unassisted quitting (ie, quitting without pharmacological aids or other interventions) among former smokers and identified the most common smoking cessation methods used by U.S. adult smokers who quit smoking between 2007 and 2011. Among long-term quitters, smoking-related behaviors and factors associated with using pharmacological methods and quitting unassisted were examined.


The analytic sample consisted solely of former smokers, including 3,583 "long-term quitters" (those who quit 1 to 3 years prior to the survey) and 2,205 "recent quitters" (those who quit within a year prior to the survey), who responded to the 2010-2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey.


About 72% of former smokers quit unassisted, 26% used at least one pharmacological method, and 7% used at least one nonpharmacological method. The most common pharmacological methods were the nicotine patch (12%), Chantix/Varenicline (11%), and a nicotine gum/lozenge (8%). For long-term quitters, cutting back on cigarettes gradually and relying on social support were more commonly associated with pharmacological methods. Among long-term quitters, younger adults (18 to 44 years old), Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics, those who were less nicotine dependent prior to quitting and those who did not visit a doctor in the past 12 months before quitting had higher odds of reporting unassisted quitting than quitting with pharmacological methods.


Unassisted quitting remains the predominant means of recent and long-term smoking cessation in the United States. Attempters may try different ways of quitting during the same quit attempt.


Unassisted quitting remains a much more common method for recent and long-term smoking cessation than use of pharmacological or nonpharmacological methods. Smokers may try different ways of quitting during the same quit attempt. Thus, population-based studies that investigate the use of particular methods while ignoring other ways of quitting may overestimate the benefits of certain methods for smoking cessation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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