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The Biggest Reason for Quitting Smoking Revealed in Study

smoking, quit smoking, smoking cessation

A new survey suggests that 34% of smokers have resolved to quit in 2013. Unfortunately, as with most New Year’s Resolutions, only a small percentage will ultimately succeed. In fact, today – January 8th – is the day that most smokers will relapse. The Legacy Foundation offers tips for helping you get past the obstacles that make smoking cessation harder.

The Legacy online survey was conducted between November 26th and December 5th 2012 and included 1,552 Americans aged 18 years and over who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetimes and still smoke to some extent. Just over a third of smokers polled planned to quit smoking as 2013 rolled in, which on the positive was twice as many as in 2012.

More than two-thirds of the survey participants cited the increasing costs of cigarettes as a key factor motivating them to quit. The second most common reason for cessation was concerns about the health risks associated with smoking.

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking accounts for an estimated 443,000 deaths (or nearly one of every five) each year in the United States per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More deaths occur each year due to smoking than all the deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined.

Unfortunately, quitting smoking is very hard. Of those who resolved to quit in 2012, the average remained abstinent from cigarettes for only about a month. For more than half (59%), it was the longest they had ever stayed quit. Having a plan and a support network can help considerably.

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“Research has shown that smokers make up to 6-9 attempts before they finally quit for good, which is why it is so important to remind smokers to quit with support and methods that have proven success,” says Cheryl G. Healton DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy.

One of the most underutilized (or overlooked) resources for support to help quit smoking is a personal healthcare provider. More than half of those polled have not talked about quitting smoking with their primary care physician. Your doctor can help improve your efforts to quit smoking by providing tools such as over-the-counter or prescription nicotine replacement therapies (NRT’s) such as gums, lozenges or patches.

Among smokers who did speak with their HCPs about quitting in the last 12 months, nearly four in ten believe that the discussion motivated them to quit or helped them to take the next step towards quitting.

“Overcoming the initial barrier of speaking with a primary care physician, pharmacist or dentist is critical. Once the conversation does get going, the outcomes can be extremely helpful to bolstering the quit attempts and ensuring the results are long-lasting,” Dr. Healton said.

Legacy is a national public health and tobacco education foundation, helping people to live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Smokers are encouraged to visit www.BecomeAnEx.org, a site that offers a free, personalized online plan that can help any smoker start on the path to stay quit. You can also learn more about Legacy at www.LegacyForHealth.org.

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