Quitting Takes More Than Willpower

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and although the number of smokers has declined steadily for the past few decades, over 37 million people—approximately 14% of the adult population—continue to smoke.1 Smoking costs the United States billions of dollars each year in medical expenditures and lost productivity, in addition to the tens of thousands who die from smoking related illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.2 Smokers who want to quit may seek help from their healthcare provider to do so.

Understanding the myths and misconceptions of smoking may assist healthcare providers in smoking cessation discussions with their patients. Take a look at one common misconception below.


1. CDC Tobacco Fast Facts and Fact Sheets

2. CDC Smoking and Tobacco Use Fact Sheet

Benowitz. Nicotine Addiction. N Engl J Med 2010; 362:2295-2303 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra0809890

CDC. MMWR. 2017;65:1457-1464.

Stead  LF, Perera  R, Bullen  C, Mant  D, Hartmann‐Boyce  J, Cahill  K, Lancaster  T. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD000146. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000146.pub4.

Chaiton M, Diemert L, Cohen JE, et al. Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers. BMJ Open 2016;6:e011045. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011045

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