Cochrane Summaries

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Are there any smoking cessation programmes which can help adolescents to stop smoking

Stanton A, Grimshaw G
Published Online: 
23 August 2013

Worldwide, between 80,000 and 100,000 young people start smoking every day and up to one in four UK and American young people smoke. Many adolescent tobacco programmes focus on preventing teenagers from starting to smoke, but some programmes have been aimed at helping those teenagers already smoking to quit. We identified 28 studies of mixed quality (around 6000 participants) that researched ways of helping teenagers to quit. Programmes that combine a variety of approaches, including taking into account  the young person's preparation for quitting, supporting behavioural change and enhancing motivation show promise. The number of trials and participants are beginning to be adequate to provide evidence to judge effectiveness. Medications such as nicotine replacement and bupropion have not yet been shown to be successful with adolescents, and some adverse events have been reported. Trials so far have had different definitions of quitting and many smaller trials did not have enough participants for us to be confident about wider application of the results. Some approaches may be worthy of consideration but there is still a need to provide better evidence before the likely success and costs of large scale service programmes can be estimated accurately.

This record should be cited as: 
Stanton A, Grimshaw G. Tobacco cessation interventions for young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD003289. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003289.pub5
Assessed as up to date: 
31 July 2013