Clinicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

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In 2018 to 2019, 69.5% 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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Background

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 is ready 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. 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. Many individual pharmacies and one national pharmacy chain have decided not to sell tobacco products, recognizing that the sale of tobacco products is not compatible with their important role in health care.

Measure

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

Healthy People 2030 Target

  • Increase to 66.6 percent the proportion of adult smokers who receive advice to quit from a health professional.

The Healthy People 2030 (HP2030) goals are targeted at all health professionals. 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. Therefore, the data presented in this report cannot be directly compared to the HP2030 objectives.

Healthy People 2030 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Note: Goals are indicated as blue line on Detailed Trend Graphs.

Data Source

The Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, National Cancer Institute, 1992–2019.

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

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, 1992-2019
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2018 to 2019)
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, 1992-2019 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 69.5 68.3 - 70.8
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 67.9 66.1 - 69.6
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 71.2 69.4 - 72.8

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, 1992-2019
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2018 to 2019)
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, 1992-2019 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 69.5 68.3 - 70.8
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 71.0 69.4 - 72.5
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 67.3 63.5 - 70.9
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 60.9 56.5 - 65.2

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, 1992-2019
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2018 to 2019)
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, 1992-2019 Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 18-24 55.9 48.8 - 62.8
Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 25+ 71.5 70.4 - 72.7

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, 1992-2019
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2018 to 2019)
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, 1992-2019 Males, ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males, ages 18-24 54.0 43.4 - 64.3
Males, ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males, ages 25+ 70.2 68.5 - 71.8
Females, ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females, ages 18-24 58.0 48.1 - 67.4
Females, ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females, ages 25+ 72.9 71.3 - 74.4

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, 1998-2019
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2018 to 2019)
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, 1998-2019 < 200% of the federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for < 200% of the federal poverty level 68.5 66.6 - 70.3
>= 200% of the federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >= 200% of the federal poverty level 70.5 68.4 - 72.4

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, 1992-2019
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2018 to 2019)
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, 1992-2019 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 71.6 68.3 - 74.7
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 72.1 70.3 - 73.8
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 70.9 69.2 - 72.5

Evidence-based Resources

Evidence-based intervention programs are available on the Evidence-Based Cancer Control Programs (EBCCP) website that promote smoking cessation and provide guidance to quit.

Additional Information on Clinicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

Quitting Resources

Year Range

1992-2019

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2014-2019

Summary Tables

Clinicians' Advice to Quit Smoking

Recent Summary Trend

Rising

Desired Direction

Rising