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No Proven Programs to Help Teens Quit Smoking

ine-replacement treatments, including patches and gum, but the reviewers report that the research failed to show an effect when compared to placebo.

For now, there is insufficient evidence to show that those treatments work in adolescents, the reviewers wrote.

Nine studies tried to motivate teens to stop smoking through a variety of means, but the results were mixed.

Some studies looked at quitting over a period of a single week. The reviewers wrote that brief vacations from smoking could be a good thing because they allow teens to practice quitting or “interrupt the progression to more regular or heavy smoking.” Still, the reviewers wrote, those are only assumptions without any data to back them up.

According to Winickoff, the review suggests that “there are probably some cessation programs for adolescents that work. But we don’t know which ones are most effective for each teenager.”

The reviewers say that complex programs seem to work the best because they are “designed to respond to the many issues that characterize young persons’ smoking.”

Even so, the evidence is not strong enough to recommend widespread implementation of any model, the reviewers say, especially considering that there’s no research into whether the approaches prevent teens from smoking again later in life.

The reviewers call for further research, and they note that several studies are under way. But finding participants can be a challenge, since parents must give permission in some cases for the kids to be studied.

“There are sensitivities about blowing the young person’s cover by (allowing) their participation in a quitting program,” said review co-author Gill Grimshaw, a researcher at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. In other words, parents might learn that their kids smoke when they see a consent form.

There is hope, though, in the fact that “a lot of teens have extreme
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