Despite declines in smoking prevalence over the past 4 decades, nearly one-quarter (22.8%) of adults in the United States are regular smokers. Most smokers report they want to quit someday, but only a small percentage are ready to do so at any given time. Even when ready to quit, most smokers fail to seek formal assistance and prefer to quit on their own. Proactive recruitment is an effective way to reach smokers at all stages of readiness to quit smoking. However, it can be difficult to proactively deliver cessation counseling.
In women, smoking is causally linked to cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions, and among those with low-grade cervical abnormalities, quitting smoking can result in healed lesions and lower cervical cancer risk. One way to make women more receptive to a smoking cessation intervention is to capitalize on a "teachable moment" such as during a conversation about an abnormal Pap smear or colposcopy when women may be more receptive to advice on quitting smoking.