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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington: U.S. Smoking Rate Dropping, But Disparities in Cessation Reinforce Need for Public Health Action

More adult smokers in the United States are quitting smoking than ever before but only a fraction are using evidence-based approaches to do so and certain populations are struggling more than others, according to a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General that reviews and updates evidence on the importance of quitting smoking.

Released Jan. 23 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General is the first report in three decades to focus exclusively on smoking cessation. Dr. Gillian Schauer of the University of Washington School of Public Health is one of four senior editors. She is also a senior consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as to a number of other federal and state agencies.

The report discusses the immediate and long-term health and economic benefits of smoking cessation. It also details the wide variety of interventions that have been scientifically shown to effectively increase smoking cessation, and presents new strategies to enhance implementation at an individual and population-based level.

“We’ve made marked improvements in helping people to quit smoking over the years,” says Dr. Schauer, co-director of the Tobacco Studies Program in the Department of Health Services at the UW School of Public Health. “More than three out of every five adults who have ever been cigarette smokers have quit smoking. We’ve crossed a threshold where there are now more quitters than there are smokers, but that has not happened equally across populations.”

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