Nearly Half of U.S. Smokers Not Advised by Doctors to Quit: Surgeon General

FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Too few American smokers are advised by their doctors to quit, according to a report released Thursday by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

"Forty percent of smokers don't get advised to quit," he told The New York Times. "That was a shocking statistic to me, and it's a little embarrassing as a health professional."

"Four out of every nine adult cigarette smokers who saw a health professional during the past year did not receive advice to quit," according to the report.

It advised smokers to use a number of cessation methods known to be effective, but noted that e-cigarettes are not among those, The Times reported.

Vulnerable populations -- including gay and transgender people, Native Americans, people with mental illness -- aren't getting the help they need to quit smoking, according to the Surgeon General's report.

It said doctors and public health officials need to do more to help these groups stop smoking.

"The biggest take-home from this report is that far too many people who want to quit aren't getting access to the cessation treatments that we know work," Adams told The Times.

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