Tobacco Treatment in Rural Primary Care

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2018
Project completed:
September 2021

Tobacco use is related to 440,000 deaths each year, making it the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. Though tobacco use declined from 43% in 1965 to 18% in 2014 among the general U.S. population, tobacco use remains high among several vulnerable subpopulations, in particular, residents of rural areas. Primary care is an important resource in tobacco prevention, but little is known about the degree to which rural primary care providers counsel or prescribe medications for smoking cessation. Using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, we compared rural and urban rates and predictors of tobacco counseling and treatment medication prescribing by primary care providers.