Importance: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. When used separately or in combination, smoking cessation counseling and cessation medications have been associated with increased cessation rates. Objectives: To present trends in self-reported receipt of physician advice to quit smoking and in use of prescription smoking cessation medication along with their associated expenditures among a nationally representative sample of active adult smokers in the United States. Design, Setting, and Participants: This repeated cross-sectional study of US adults aged 18 years or older was conducted from July 5, 2018, through August 15, 2018. Data were collected between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2015, from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, an annual US survey of individuals and families, health care personnel, and employers. Participants (n = 29 106) were noninstitutionalized civilians who were randomly drawn from the respondents of the previous year's National Health Interview Survey. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between sociodemographic factors and receipt of physician cessation advice and use of cessation prescription medication. A 2-part econometric model was used to assess health care expenditures. Main Outcomes and Measures: Trends in self-reported receipt of physician advice to quit and uptake of prescription smoking cessation medications with associated total and out-of-pocket expenditures. Results: The study sample consisted of 29 106 participants, with a mean (SD) age of 57 (10) years and a composition of 13 670 women (47.0%). The results were weighted to provide estimates for 31.2 million active adult cigarette smokers. The proportion of smokers who reported receiving physician advice to quit increased from 60.2% (95% CI, 58.5%-62.0%) in 2006 to 2007 to 64.9% (95% CI, 62.8%-66.9%) in 2014 to 2015, with a P for trend = .001. The odds of receiving physician cessation advice was statistically significantly higher in women (odds ratio [OR], 1.50; 95% CI, 1.39-1.59) and lower among uninsured participants (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.52-0.65). Overall, prescription smoking cessation medication use decreased with a corresponding reduction in total expenditures from $146 million (out-of-pocket cost, $46 million) in 2006 to 2007 to $73 million (out-of-pocket cost, $9 million) in 2014 to 2015. Male (odds ratio [OR], 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66-0.91), uninsured (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41-0.83), and racial/ethnic minority (African American: OR, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.38-0.69]; Asian: OR, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.10-0.93]; Hispanic: OR, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.36-0.78]) participants were less likely to use prescription smoking cessation medications. Conclusions and Relevance: The lower rates of delivery of physician advice to quit smoking and the lower uptake of known prescription smoking cessation medications among men, younger adults, uninsured individuals, racial/ethnic minority groups, and those without smoking-associated comorbidities may be associated with the higher smoking rates among these subgroups despite an all-time low prevalence of smoking in the United States; this finding calls for a more targeted implementation of smoking cessation guidelines.
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