Effects of sixty six adolescent tobacco use cessation trials and seventeen prospective studies of self-initiated quitting

  • Sussman S
Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


This paper provides a review of the last two and a half decades of research in adolescent and young-adult tobacco use cessation. A total of 66 tobacco cessation intervention studies – targeted or population – are reviewed. In addition, an exhaustive review is completed of adolescent self-initiated tobacco use cessation, involving 17 prospective survey studies. Average reach and retention across the intervention studies was 61% and 78%, respectively, and was higher when whole natural units were treated (e.g., classrooms), than when units created specifically for the program were treated (e.g., school-based clinics). The mean quit-rate at a three to 12-month average follow-up among the program conditions was 12%, compared to approximately 7% across control groups. A comparison of intervention theories revealed that motivation enhancement (19%) and contingency-based reinforcement (16%) programs showed higher quit-rates than the overall intervention cessation mean. Regarding modalities (channels) of change, classroom-based programs showed the highest quit rates (17%). Computer-based (expert system) programs also showed promise (13% quit-rate), as did school-based clinics (12%). There was a fair amount of missing data and wide variation on how data points were measured in the programs' evaluations. Also, there were relatively few direct comparisons of program and control groups. Thus, it would be difficult to conduct a formal meta-analysis on the cessation programs. Still, these data suggest that use of adolescent tobacco use cessation interventions double quit rates on the average. In the 17 self-initiated quitting survey studies, key predictors of quitting were living in a social milieu that is composed of fewer smokers, less pharmacological or psychological dependence on smoking, anti-tobacco beliefs (e.g., that society should step in to place controls on smoking) and feeling relatively hopeful about life. Key variables relevant to the quitting process may include structuring the context of programming for youth, motivating quit attempts and reducing ambivalence about quitting, and making programming enjoyable as possible. There also is a need to help youth to sustain a quit-attempt. In this regard, one could provide ongoing support during the acute withdrawal period and teach youth social/life skills. Since there is little information currently available on use of nicotine replacement in young people, continued research in this arena might also be a useful focus for future work.




Sussman, S. (2003). Effects of sixty six adolescent tobacco use cessation trials and seventeen prospective studies of self-initiated quitting. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 1(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/1617-9625-1-1-35

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free