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Health Psychol. 2006 Sep;25(5):558-62.

Evidence for clinical smoking cessation for adolescents.

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  • 1University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.



This report reviews the evidence that informs the role of health and mental health care providers in addressing youth smoking cessation.


Qualitative literature review.


Physicians do not consistently screen adolescents for tobacco use and fail to provide recommended cessation advice. Challenges to addressing smoking cessation include the need for procedures to ensure confidentiality and the existence of competing demands to provide other services. Few published studies have specifically addressed the effectiveness of clinical interventions. Interventions that require return visits or follow-up phone contacts are technically difficult to implement in this population. Successful interventions may require resources not available in nonresearch settings. Most studies have used brief clinical intervention as a control condition, making it impossible to evaluate its effectiveness.


There is little evidence that supports current clinical smoking cessation guidelines for adolescents. More research is needed to develop inexpensive, efficient clinical interventions that can provide youths access to smoking cessation help. Future challenges include reorganizing clinical systems to offer greater counseling by support staff or in electronic formats and to provide effective booster messages and follow-up care in a population that is difficult to track.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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