Tobacco Prevention and Smoking Cessation

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Cigarette smoking in the U.S. has declined dramatically since the Surgeon General first warned against it.

But tobacco use (smoking and other use of tobacco products) remains the single most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S., yet one fifth of the U.S. population smokes. Some groups smoke tobacco more than others:

  • American Indian/Alaska Native men and women
  • African American men
  • People with a high school education or less
  • People living below the poverty level
  • Young people — approximately 26% of whites, 22% of Hispanics and 13% of African Americans in high school are current cigarette smokers

Although safety net providers may be more likely to care for people who smoke, only 53 percent of HRSA-supported health center grantees have adopted a formal tobacco cessation program. 

Goal: Formal tobacco prevention and cessation programs in 100 percent of HRSA grantees that provide direct health care services, starting with health centers.

Goal: Reduce the adult smoking rate to 12%

Safety net providers can help patients quit using tobacco — or keep them from starting so they gain the immediate and long-term benefits of a tobacco-free life and their families and friends are spared exposure to secondhand smoke and other tobacco risks.

 

Date Last Reviewed:  May 2017