Thursday, April 30, 2009

The CDC released results from the national Youth Risk Behavioral Study (YRBS) that suggest it may be important to target tobacco cessation counseling to young smokers, where the likelihood of success in quitting is greatest.

The study showed that nearly two-thirds (60.9%) of students who ever smoked cigarettes daily tried to quit smoking cigarettes. However, among those who tried to quit, only 12.2% were successful. While the prevalence of success in quitting did not vary by sex or race/ethnicity, more students in 9th grade (22.9%) than in 10th grade (10.7%), 11th grade (8.8%) and 12th grade (10.0%) were successful at quitting.

The 2008 Public Health Service Guidelines – Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence agree that counseling has been shown to be effective in treating adolescent smokers, and recommend that adolescent smokers be provided with counseling interventions to help them quit smoking.

These findings also reinforce the need to fully implement and sustain comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs that increase excise taxes, promote smoke-free air policies, and conduct media campaigns in conjunction with other community-based interventions, such as tobacco-use prevention programs in schools that include school policy and education components. These proven interventions are effective in reducing smoking among youth and adults.

Diane M. Canova
Managing Senior Fellow and Senior Program Officer


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