Clinicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

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In 2010 to 2011, 64.4% of adult smokers who had seen a physician during the past 12 months reported being advised by that doctor to quit smoking.

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Introduction

Clinicians’ advice to quit smoking can by itself contribute 5 to 10 percentage points toward quitting among smoking patients and much more if coupled with behavioral therapy and pharmacological treatment of nicotine addiction. In addition, even minimal clinical interventions have been shown to be cost effective in increasing smokers’ motivation to quit.

If a patient wants to quit, the national guidelines recommend that the clinician follow the “5 A’s” (ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange). For patients who are not yet ready to quit, the clinician should instead provide a brief intervention designed to promote the motivation to quit. Experts have suggested that a wide variety of clinicians, including dentists, physicians, and other health professionals such as pharmacists, can effectively implement brief strategies to increase future quit attempts. In fact, many individual pharmacies and one national pharmacy chain have decided not to sell tobacco products, recognizing that the sale of tobacco products conflicts with the role of pharmacies as public health facilities.

Measure

The percentage of adult smokers (aged 18 years and older) who have seen a physician or dentist in the past 12 months and report that the physician or dentist advised them to quit smoking.

Healthy People 2020 Target

The Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) targets are developed based on the National Center for Health Statistics survey of physicians and hospitals. In contrast, the data presented in the Cancer Trends Progress Report are based on reports from patients regarding whether they received smoking cessation advice from their physicians or dentists. Therefore, the data presented in this report cannot be directly compared to the HP2020 objectives. Nevertheless, patient self-report data is a valuable measure of how clinicians’ advice to quit smoking is changing over time.

HP2020 includes targets for physicians’ advice to quit smoking in office-based ambulatory care settings and in hospital ambulatory care settings. The HP2020 objective is for adult smokers to receive tobacco cessation counseling at 21.1 percent of visits to physicians’ offices, and at 24.9 percent of hospital visits . HP2020 also includes targets for dentists’ advice to quit smoking in dental care settings. The HP2020 objective is for patients who use tobacco products to receive cessation counseling at 39.3 percent of dental care visits.

HP2020 targets for clinicians’ advice to quit smoking in substance abuse care settings are still in development.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

The Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, National Cancer Institute, 1992–2011.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Physicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

By Sex
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex, 1992-2011 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 64.4 (63.4 - 65.3)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 62.7 (61.3 - 64.0)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 65.8 (64.6 - 66.9)
By Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by race/ethnicity, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by race/ethnicity, 1992-2011 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 64.4 (63.4 - 65.3)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 65.1 (64.0 - 66.2)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 62.1 (58.8 - 65.4)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 59.3 (55.6 - 63.0)
By Age
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by age, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by age, 1992-2011 Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 18-24 50.3 (46.8 - 53.9)
Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 25+ 66.2 (65.3 - 67.2)
By Sex and Age
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex and age, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex and age, 1992-2011 Males Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males Ages 18-24 43.9 (38.2 - 49.5)
Males Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males Ages 25+ 65.3 (64.0 - 66.7)
Females Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females Ages 18-24 55.6 (51.1 - 60.1)
Females Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females Ages 25+ 67.0 (65.9 - 68.2)
By Poverty Income Level
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by poverty income level, 1998-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by poverty income level, 1998-2011 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 64.6 (63.0 - 66.2)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 64.4 (63.1 - 65.7)
By Education Level
Percentage of smokers aged 25 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by highest level of education obtained, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 25 years and older who have seen a physician in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by highest level of education obtained, 1992-2011 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 66.5 (64.1 - 68.9)
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 67.6 (66.0 - 69.1)
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 65.0 (63.7 - 66.3)

Dentists' Advice to Quit Smoking

By Sex
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex, 1992-2011 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 30.4 (29.3 - 31.5)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 32.5 (30.8 - 34.2)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 28.4 (27.1 - 29.7)
By Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by race/ethnicity, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by race/ethnicity, 1992-2011 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 30.4 (29.3 - 31.5)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 29.8 (28.6 - 31.0)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 34.5 (30.6 - 38.4)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 29.7 (25.0 - 34.4)
By Age
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by age, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by age, 1992-2011 Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 18-24 31.1 (27.2 - 35.1)
Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 25+ 30.2 (29.0 - 31.4)
By Sex and Age
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex and age, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by sex and age, 1992-2011 Males Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males Ages 18-24 31.3 (25.6 - 36.9)
Males Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males Ages 25+ 32.6 (30.9 - 34.4)
Females Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females Ages 18-24 30.9 (26.1 - 35.6)
Females Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females Ages 25+ 27.9 (26.5 - 29.3)
By Poverty Income Level
Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by poverty income level, 1998-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 18 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by poverty income level, 1998-2011 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 32.4 (30.5 - 34.3)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 29.0 (27.5 - 30.5)
By Education Level
Percentage of smokers aged 25 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by highest level of education obtained, 1992-2011
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010 to 2011)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of smokers aged 25 years and older who have seen a dentist in the past year and were advised to quit smoking by highest level of education obtained, 1992-2011 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 33.3 (29.3 - 37.3)
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 30.3 (28.4 - 32.2)
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 29.6 (28.0 - 31.1)

Additional Information on Clinicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

For smokers

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

1992-2011

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2006-2011

Summary Tables

Clinicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

Recent Summary Trend

Stable

Desired Direction

Rising