On the Eve of the 50th Anniversary of the Historic 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Tobacco, Smokers are Still Choosing Ineffective Tools and Risk Relapse After Just Eight Days
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a new survey conducted for national public health nonprofit, Legacy®, 56 percent of adult smokers polled were preparing to quit as a New Year's Resolution in 2014 to improve their health. The findings come at a critical date when past research has shown quitters are most vulnerable to relapse: the 8th day of a quit attempt. This new data, released as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, also found that:
- 41% of adult smokers surveyed planned to quit smoking "cold turkey" for New Years - a method that is largely ineffective for the majority of smokers.
- 12% of them planned to switch to electronic cigarettes, a product yet to be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and whose safety risks remain unknown.
- 37% of the adult smokers surveyed plan to quit to save money and
- 31.7% want to quit because they don't want their clothes and hair to smell.
"On January 8th, those who quit for New Year's may be struggling to remain committed to their resolution," said Robin Koval, President and CEO of Legacy. "Our new survey findings underscore the need for planning and using proven effective tools like nicotine replacement therapies and social support - not going 'cold turkey,' as more than 40 percent of smokers polled have indicated - unfortunately, most smokers continue to think that quitting is simply a matter of willpower," she said. "They should also be wary of e-cigarettes. While it is likely these products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, they are not regulated and have not been approved as an effective cessation tool," she said.
Smoking is a powerful addiction that is extremely difficult to overcome. The nicotine in cigarettes changes the chemistry of a smoker's brain, creating physical dependence. Coupled with the behavioral and social aspects of smoking, it can seem next to impossible for a smoker to quit smoking. By building a quit plan, smokers can address the physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of addiction and work toward re-learning life without cigarettes.
Quitting smoking takes preparation, tenacity and support. For those who need help quitting, BecomeAnEX.org offers free personalized quit plans, resources, information, and tools that were designed with input from former and current smokers. The site also hosts a thriving online community, where smokers who are trying to quit can connect with others to share support and encouragement in an effort to increase the odds that smokers stay quit.
Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy's proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.
Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebook www.Facebook.com/Legacy.
Fifty years after the release of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, remarkable progress has been made. Since 1964, smoking prevalence among U.S. adults has been reduced by half. Unfortunately, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. In January 2014, the Surgeon General will release the 50th anniversary Surgeon General's Report on smoking and health. The report will highlight 50 years of progress in tobacco control and prevention, present new data on the health consequences of tobacco use, and detail initiatives that can end the tobacco use epidemic in the United States.