Smoking cessation : a report of the Surgeon General : executive summary
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

All these words:

For very narrow results

This exact word or phrase:

When looking for a specific result

Any of these words:

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

None of these words:

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Publication Date Range:


Document Data


Document Type:






Clear All

Query Builder

Query box

Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Smoking cessation : a report of the Surgeon General : executive summary

Filetype[PDF-304.43 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Description:
      Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] 2014). Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and costs the United States billions of dollars in direct medical costs each year (USDHHS 2014). Although considerable progress has been made in reducing cigarette smoking since the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report was released in 1964 (USDHHS 2014), in 2018, 13.7% of U.S. adults (34.2 million people) were still current cigarette smokers (Creamer et al. 2019). One of the main reasons smokers keep smoking is nicotine (USDHHS 1988). Nicotine, a drug found naturally in the tobacco plant, is highly addictive, as with such drugs as cocaine and heroin; acti- vates the brain’s reward circuits; and reinforces repeated nicotine exposure (USDHHS 1988, 2010, 2014; National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA] 2018).

      The majority of cigarette smokers (68%) want to quit smoking completely (Babb et al. 2017). The 1990 Surgeon General’s report, The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation, was the last Surgeon General’s report to focus on cur- rent research on smoking cessation and to predominantly review the health benefits of quitting smoking (USDHHS 1990). Because of limited data at that time, the 1990 report did not review the determinants, processes, or outcomes of attempts at smoking cessation. Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation was not introduced until the 1980s. Additionally, behavioral and other counseling approaches were slow to develop and not widely available at the time of the 1990 report because few were covered under health insurance, and programs such as group counseling ses- sions were hard for smokers to access, even by those who were motivated to quit (Fiore et al. 1990).

      The purpose of this report is to update and expand the 1990 Surgeon General’s report based on new scien- tific evidence about smoking cessation. Since 1990, the scientific literature has expanded greatly on the deter- minants and processes of smoking cessation, informing the development of interventions that promote cessa- tion and help smokers quit (Fiore et al. 2008; Schlam and Baker 2013). This knowledge and other major develop- ments have transformed the landscape of smoking ces- sation in the United States. This report summarizes this enhanced knowledge and specifically reviews patterns and trends of smoking cessation; biologic mechanisms; various health benefits; overall morbidity, mortality, and economic benefits; interventions; and strategies that pro- mote smoking cessation.

      Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General— Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2020.


    • Document Type:
    • Place as Subject:
    • Main Document Checksum:
    • File Type:

    Supporting Files

    • No Additional Files

    More +

    Related Documents

    You May Also Like

    Checkout today's featured content at