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May 20, 2020

Smoking Cessation—Progress, Barriers, and New Opportunities: The Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Cessation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of the Surgeon General, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2020;323(24):2470-2471. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6647

The reduction in cigarette smoking is one of the most significant public health successes in modern US history. As noted in the landmark 50th anniversary report of the surgeon general, more than an estimated 8 million deaths were averted over the past half century through evidence-based tobacco control efforts,1 and recent data show that cigarette smoking among US adults is now at an all-time low of 14%.2 However, 34 million US adults continue to smoke cigarettes, with marked disparities across the population.2 Moreover, 16 million adults in the United States currently live with a smoking-related disease.1 In addition to these human costs, smoking places a significant burden on the US economy, with estimated societal costs of smoking projected at more than $300 billion annually, including an estimated $170 billion in health care spending.1