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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Teen Smoking

According to the Health Behavior News Service, Health Psychology recently published a meta-analysis of 48 articles published about teen smoking cessation programs and quit rates. The adolescents who enrolled in these studies smoked an average of 10 cigarettes a day, were white, and about half were female. They also wanted to quit, which mirrors a report from the CDC saying that 61% of teen smokers wanted to quit.

The quit rates of teens who participated in smoking cessation programs was 9.1% compared to a 6.2% quit rate for teen smokers not in cessation programs. Not all cessation programs were effective though. The best cessation programs included:
  • Cognitive-behavioral techniques or strategies to enhance motivation;
  • Social influence content to counter tobacco industry promotions, peer pressure, and media images;
  • Programming within schools;
  • At least five sessions; and
  • Longer follow-up periods.
This research suggests that teens who smoke should sign up for the cessation programs now provided by most HMOs and school-based clinics.

Photo credit: benkay

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.