Teen Smoking Cessation Program Sees Major Success

Smoking cessation programs are frequently cited for the difficulties involved in getting smokers to volunteer, as well as to help those with addiction problems overcome the urge to start smoking again. These issues are especially prevalent when working with teenage smokers, so the industry has suggested –and reason would seem to support–. But this may not actually be the case, says a new trial cessation program targeted at high school students.

With an admirably large recruitment group at over two thousand teenagers, the trial set out to test the efficacy of a structured smoking cessation support program, using a number of special checks and a control group to ensure that collected data was as reliable as possible. The trial involved the administration of up to nine personalized and confidential telephone counseling sessions aimed at providing moral and emotional support during the process of quitting. The high school students were recruited during their junior year and were given the telephone treatment over the course of their final year in high school.

The trial enjoyed a remarkable success rate of over twenty one percent in terms of students who had successfully quit over the course of six months, and a fair percentage –about fifty– completed their entire course of telephone counseling regardless of whether they reported six-month cessation or not. The researchers and organizers involved with the study note that the often-referenced difficulty of successfully working with smoking cessation within this age group served as a major impetus for trying the telephone treatment trial. Rather than proving difficult to reach or to recruit, however, the high school students were remarkably receptive of the offer of help. Now that results have showed great potential, further trials will likely be forthcoming.

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment


    October 26th, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    This is not good new, this is GREAT NEWS!!! 21% is a huge figure… that is over 400 out of two thousand… think of the numbers that would quit if this is actually done on a larger scale…

  • PAUL H

    PAUL H

    October 26th, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    This is encouraging, indeed. Teenagers smoking is a big nuisance and will lead to them being chain-smokers later in life, thereby adding to an already-inflated group of chain-smokers.

    Such findings should be considered and be made into programs if possible.

  • Nikki


    October 26th, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    As the mom of a teenage son who has unfortunately picked up the smoking habit I am so glad to see that there are going to be new programs geared toward this age group. Even though he has not been smoking for all that long I already know that he is addicted and that it is seriously impacting his health. He does not have the energy that he used to have and I know that his stamina has gone down as well. I know that he probably would not be fond of being a part of a program like this but I am sure am happy to know that there is something out there which may can help him quit the habit when the time is right for him. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he will realize very soon that we have to do something.

  • L Marsh

    L Marsh

    October 27th, 2009 at 4:52 AM

    Teens smoking is a major issue for many parents and schools alike. Many of them em it only due to peer-pressure. If a few quit smoking,there will be a few more quitting as a results of it. They need to be educated that smoking does not make them ‘cool’.



    October 27th, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Teens should be discouraged from smoking as the habit will only turn worse as they grow up and may even become an addiction, which can be extremely dangerous to both their physical and mental health.

  • edward


    October 27th, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Good results and finds like these should be conveyed to the local and other authorities immediately and they should be shown as to how the menace of teen smoking can be subdued and possibly ended all together.

    This is an encouraging piece of news and should not be let to just be forgotten after a few months or a year, but be encouraged and practised.

  • Elizabeth R.

    Elizabeth R.

    October 27th, 2009 at 8:51 PM

    That’s fantastic news. Congratulations to the teens and those who put together the successful program. What you don’t realize is a teen when you start is that you’re going to keep on doing it for decades. That never crossed my mind and I was still puffing away over twenty five years later.

  • Elizabeth R.

    Elizabeth R.

    October 27th, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    Sorry I mean “What you don’t realize AS a teen”

  • Gabriel


    October 27th, 2009 at 9:40 PM

    Ah, you’re forgetting for sure that when you’re a teenager you think you’re unstoppable and can do anything you want, including stopping smoking if you want to. Thank goodness those kids had the sense to get involved in the program before cigarettes took a firm grip on them for life. It doesn’t occur to you that it’s a real addiction until it’s too late.

  • Sid Christopher

    Sid Christopher

    October 28th, 2009 at 2:14 AM

    A good sign that needs following up from the authorities…

  • Robbin


    October 28th, 2009 at 5:46 AM

    I feel so fortunate because I like almost every other American teen tried smoking while I was in high school and college; in fact I smoked quite a lot until I graduated and tried to find a job and started wondering if smelling like cigarette smoke might hamper my chances of finding my dream job. What I do not understand is how I smoked for that many years, probably a good eight or so, yet had no problem putting them down. When I quit that was it and I was done for good. I have not smoked since and that has been ten years now. I do feel a little pang from time to time if I am in a bar having a drink socially it feels like it would just feel so right to pick one up again but I never have. My thing is if I did not have any problem letting go of this habit then bwhy do so many teens find it to be a problem? Is there really just some inherent personality trait in some people and that makes it easier for them to become addicted to certain things? Can this be identified?

  • Walter Scott

    Walter Scott

    October 28th, 2009 at 6:28 PM

    As teens, kids need to understand that if a friend picks up a cigarette, it does not mean they have to do it too… If a few people are making a wrong decision, it does not become right, and smoking is never right.

  • Ricky


    October 29th, 2009 at 2:45 AM

    Compulsory programs in school that are aimed at discouraging smoking must be brought in too. This would help making smoking something that isn’t ‘trendy’ in the young minds.

  • greg


    October 29th, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Okay, a find has been made. But what is equally, if not more, important is what follow-up is done regarding the find… whether counselling will be set up in schools to try and keep kids away from smoking… or some other measures are taken.

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