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Approximately 5–6% of adult smokers who try to quit smoking at any given time are successful for one month or more.The similarity in unassisted quit rates between adolescents and adults points to the need for intervention early in the “career” of a smoker.
One of the better estimates of self initiated cessation rates comes from a longitudinal study of Australian youth.Perhaps reflecting their own feelings of dependence on smoking, adolescent smokers frequently report difficulty in quitting or a lack of confidence in their ability to do so.One study found that only a minority (43%) of a sample of adolescent smokers felt confident that they would ever quit smoking.The spontaneous or unassisted quit rates among adolescents are surprisingly low primarily because of the long held assumption that adolescents “mature out” of smoking or easily quit on their own.However, the rates of spontaneous quitting among adolescents who are regular smokers are not substantially different from those found with adults.This phenomenon reflects a significant change from the tobacco control efforts for youth during the 1970s through the mid 1990s, which had an almost singular concentration on prevention, with little thought or attention paid to cessation.
The lack of attention to cessation was based, in part, on several assumptions: (1) that prevention was the more effective means to reduce tobacco use among adolescents; (2) that adolescent smokers were unlikely to be dependent on nicotine and could probably stop smoking if they wanted to; (3) that adolescents were not interested in stopping smoking; and (4) that effective cessation programmes for adults could easily generalise to adolescents.Thus, delaying cessation efforts past the adolescent years has negative health ramifications both during adolescence as well as during the later adult years.The case for cessation interventions during the adolescent years also can easily be made based on the relatively low rates of “spontaneous” quitting among adolescents.The purpose of this paper is to review briefly the rationale for smoking cessation interventions for adolescents, to discuss the approaches used and outcomes for teen cessation, to highlight the challenges of intervening with adolescent smokers, and to present considerations for future programmes and research. Although smokeless tobacco use is clearly a problem for adolescents as well Although these prevalence rates reflect a decline over the past few years, they nevertheless have a long way to go to reach the Healthy People 2010 objective of cutting in half the rate of tobacco use among young people.Unfortunately, the majority of these adolescent smokers will maintain their smoking well into adulthood.found an overall quit rate (defined as not smoking in the past 30 days) at a one year follow up of 21% among a sample of 593 adolescent smokers who, at baseline, had smoked any cigarettes during the past month.