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Am J Prev Med. 2019 Aug 22. pii: S0749-3797(19)30279-X. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.06.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Cessation Behaviors and Treatment Use Among U.S. Smokers by Insurance Status, 2000-2015.

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Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address:
Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Consultant to McKing Consulting Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia; Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Consultant to McKing Consulting Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia.



Variations exist in insurance coverage of smoking-cessation treatments and cigarette smokers' use of these treatments. Recent trends in cessation behaviors by health insurance status have not been reported. This study examines trends in quit attempts, provider advice to quit, and use of cessation counseling and/or medications among adult cigarette smokers by insurance status. Demographic correlates of these cessation behaviors are also identified.


Data from the 2000-2015 National Health Interview Surveys were used to estimate the prevalence of and trends in past-year quit attempts, receipt of health professional advice to quit, and use of counseling and/or medication among cigarette smokers aged 18-64 years by insurance status (private, Medicaid, or uninsured). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify demographic correlates. The analysis was conducted in 2017.


Past-year quit attempts increased linearly among all insurance groups (p<0.05), whereas provider advice to quit remained unchanged. Use of cessation treatment increased linearly among smokers with Medicaid (18.1% [95% CI=13.4%, 22.8%] in 2000 to 34.9% [95% CI=28.5%, 40.5%] in 2015, p<0.05), whereas nonlinear increases were observed among those with private insurance (26.2% [95% CI=24.0%, 28.4%] in 2000 to 32.3% [95% CI=29.0%, 35.6%] in 2015; quadratic trend, p<0.05) and uninsured smokers (13.9% [95% CI=11.0%, 16.8%] in 2000 to 21.8% [95% CI=17.1%, 26.5%] in 2015; quadratic trend, p<0.05). Regardless of insurance status, adults aged 18-24 years had lower odds than older adults of receiving advice to quit and using cessation treatments.


Despite increased use of cessation treatments among Medicaid enrollees, disparities by insurance status persist in adult cessation behaviors. Opportunities exist to increase cessation by making comprehensive, barrier-free cessation coverage available to all smokers.

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