Seventy percent of smokers in America want to quit, but only about five percent of smokers are successful in quitting long-term. Most people just don’t know how to quit.
That’s where EX comes in. The free EX Plan, available at BecomeAnEX.org, teaches smokers how to “re-learn” life without cigarettes. Developed in partnership with Mayo Clinic, as well as input from ex-smokers, EX is a new way to think about quitting that can help smokers become an EX for good.
Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult and important lifestyle changes a person can make. Seventy percent of smokers in America want to quit, but only about five percent of smokers are successful in quitting long-term. Most people just don’t know how to quit. That’s where EX comes in. EX is unique because it teaches smokers how to “re-learn” life without cigarettes.
EX, a FREE online quit plan and community-based quit smoking program, provides evidence-based tools to help smokers quit. BecomeAnEX.org is a convening point for smokers who want to quit to collaborate on their successes and challenges in the difficult quit process.
DATA ON SMOKING CESSATION
• In 2008, approximately 20.6% (46 million) of Americans over the age of 18 were current smokers. In 2007,
nearly 40% of current daily smokers had quit for one day or longer during the previous year because they were
trying to quit smoking. 
• Currently, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the United States. In 2007, among the 90.7
million adult ever smokers (those who had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime) 52.1% had quit
• Smokers below the poverty level are less likely to successfully quit smoking compared to smokers at or above
poverty level, although they attempt to quit at the same rate.
HEALTH BENEEFITS OF CESSATION
• The excess risk of developing heart disease as a result of smoking may be reduced by as much as half in the
year or two after quitting. 
• People who quit smoking after a heart attack are less likely to die within the next ten years than those who
continued to smoke.
• Five to 15 years after quitting the risk of stroke returns to the level of those who have never smoked. [4, 7]
• Quitting reduces the risk of lung cancer; ten years after quitting the risk for lung cancer is 30% to 50% that of the
risk of those who continue to smoke. 
• Men who quit at age 35 increase their life expectancy by 7 to 8 years. Women who quit at age 35 increase their
life expectancy by 6 to 7 years. 
• Quitting at age 45 increases life expectancy by 5 to 7 years. Quitting at age 55 increases life expectancy by 3 to
4 years. Quitting at age 65 increases life expectancy by 2 to 3 years. 
BARRIERS TO CESSATION
• Many smokers, particularly women, report delaying quit attempts or relapsing once they have quit due to a fear
of weight gain. Studies show that most former smokers gain less than ten pounds; however, some medications
and nicotine replacement therapies have been shown to reduce or delay weight gain.
• Similar to other drug addictions, nicotine dependence is a chronic, relapsing disorder and may require repeated
treatment and multiple quit attempts. [9, 10]
o Among smokers who quit without any cessation treatment, only 3-5% of them will be able to quit
o In addition, the first two weeks of a quit attempt are often a critical period for recent quitters. The
majority of smokers relapse within the first eight days of a quit attempt.
o On average, former smokers made 8-11 quit attempts before succeeding.
• The vast majority of smokers report a desire to quit smoking; however, data indicate that there are low utilization
rates of effective cessation interventions among smokers.
• The cost of cessation services may be a barrier to successful cessation for lower income people. Lowering the
cost of effective treatments or increasing insurance coverage increases the number of people who successfully
quit using tobacco products.
o A 2003 survey of insurance plans showed an overall marked improvement in the types of smoking
cessation coverage provided in health care plans as compared to coverage in 1997; however, only 66%
of plans had a written clinical guideline regarding smoking cessation. Despite the improvements, only
9% of plans surveyed provided full coverage for any over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy
(NRT), and only 36% of the surveyed plans provided full coverage for face-to-face counseling. In
addition, 19% of health care plans put annual or lifetime limits for the coverage of smoking cessation
o In 2006, only 39 state Medicaid programs offered coverage for at least one form of tobacco-dependence
treatment (i.e., medication or counseling). An additional four states provided tobacco-dependence