Kept this during my Quit. Thought some of you might find the numbers interesting.
Since 1977 the Gallup organization has conducted an annual "Consumption Habits" poll. This data is from 2013:
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 10-14, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 2,027 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
There hasn't been a lot of sustained or significant change in smokers' desires over the years. An average of 74% of smokers have said they wanted to quit over the 25 surveys on which Gallup has asked this question since 1977.
* 85% of smokers say they have tried to quit at least once in their lifetime including 45% who have tried at least three times.
* 72% of smokers claim that they are "addicted" to cigarettes.
* On average smokers attempt 3.6 times to quit smoking over their lifetimes
* 56% of respondents claim they have never smoked.
* 24% are former smokers (41% are 65 and older, compared with 12% of those aged 18 to 29.)
The 24% of Americans who have successfully quit smoking, when asked to name the strategies or methods they used to quit, are most likely to attribute their success to just deciding to quit "cold turkey." Smaller percentages of reformed smokers name willpower, support from family and friends and prayer, use of the nicotine patch, ceasing to be around people who smoke, using chewing gum or candy, and using an electronic cigarette.
When asked to detail the major reasons or factors that finally caused them to quit smoking. These reformed smokers were by far most likely to mention factors relating to health, including mentions of pregnancy, bronchitis, cancer, and other causes.
Smokers on average are engaging in a habit they wish they didn't have, and, in fact, the average smoker has attempted to quit at least three times in their lifetime. The difficulty in quitting is attested to by the fact that more than seven in 10 smokers say they are addicted to cigarettes.
The varied strategies for quitting cited by former smokers suggest there is not a dominant "magic bullet" method, but rather just a basic decision at some point in smokers' lives to quit cold turkey.
The majority of former smokers say their concern for their health was the main factor that caused them to quit smoking. This is an important finding, but given that 91% of smokers already admit that smoking is harmful to smokers' health and 79% admit that smoking is a cause of lung cancer, it is clear that the specter of bad health, disease, and death has not been enough in and of itself to get smokers to stop.