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 Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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