Prevalence and correlates of quitline awareness and utilization in the United States: an update from the 2009-2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey

Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 May;16(5):544-53. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt181. Epub 2013 Nov 19.


Introduction: Tobacco quitlines are evidence-based cessation resources that have been underutilized. The purpose of this study is to provide population-level data about quitline awareness and utilization in the United States and to assess correlates of awareness and utilization.

Methods: Data were from the 2009-2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey. Descriptive statistics were produced for national- and state-level quitline awareness and for national quitline utilization. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify correlates of quitline awareness and utilization.

Results: Quitline awareness among the total sample was 33.9% (current smokers 53.9%, former smokers 34.0%, never-smokers 27.0%). Awareness varied by state (range: 35.8%-84.6% for current smokers). Among current smokers who tried to quit in the past year, correlates of lower awareness included being Black, non-Hispanic, and making <$50,000 annually; correlates of higher awareness included having seen a health professional, higher state tobacco program expenditures, and being female. Among smokers who made at least one quit attempt in the previous year and were aware of the quitline, quitline utilization was 7.8%. Higher state tobacco program expenditure, health professional advice, and being Black, non-Hispanic were correlated with higher utilization; older age was correlated with lower utilization. Awareness was significantly associated with use at the state level (r = .98, p < .01).

Conclusion: Although the majority of smokers in the United States are aware of quitlines, only a small percentage of those trying to quit utilize them. State tobacco program expenditures and receipt of advice from a health professional were associated with both higher quitline awareness and higher utilization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hotlines / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult