Background: Behavioral and pharmacological treatments have been shown to improve smoking cessation rates, but treatments are under-utilized.
Aims: To examine the demographic and smoking history characteristics associated with adoption of treatment for cessation.
Design: Analysis of the 2003 tobacco use special cessation supplement to the current population survey.
Participants: Representative sample of 12,027 U.S. daily smokers ages 18 and older who made a quit attempt in the past year.
Measurements: Use of behavioral, pharmacological or alternative treatments for cessation; demographic variables (age, gender, ethnicity, education and income) and measures of nicotine dependence.
Results: Females, Whites, older, more educated and wealthier smokers were more likely to adopt treatment in a quit attempt, as were more nicotine dependent smokers. Females were more likely than males to use behavioral treatments. Females and more educated smokers were more likely to combine behavioral and pharmacological treatment. Among those who used only one treatment, males, older and more nicotine dependent smokers were more likely to adopt pharmacological treatments.
Conclusions: The majority of smokers make quit attempts without the benefit of proven behavioral or pharmacological treatments. Efforts are needed to increase use of smoking cessation treatments among all smokers, particularly combination treatment.